Thursday, January 29, 2009

Lavalin Case: Politics of Evasion as Skeletons Tumble Out of the Cupboard

THE MUCH-AWAITED New Kerala March led by Pinarayi Vijayan will launch forth from Kasargode on February 2. The same day Kerala High Court will decide whether the State Government’s go-ahead is required to prosecute the accused in the SNC Lavalin case, in which Mr. Vijayan finds himself an accused along with ten others who were officials in the State Government's power department.

The CPM state secretary is the only politician accused in the case, and he happens to be the first senior leader of the CPM facing a corruption case in its entire history.

I have seen dozens of articles accusing Mr. Vijayan and also dozens defending him including the People’s Democracy article written by M A Baby in 2005 to the latest defense put up by Finance Minister Dr T M Thomas Isaac which appeared in Mathrubhumi today.

It has been one of the most-talked about cases in recent history and Mr. Vijayan happens to be the most controversial politician of our times. Most of these people named in the case are known to me personally for a long time and I have worked with some of them in my career as a journalist.

Hence I do not want to pass a comment on the merits of the case. Let the courts decide whether these people are really culpable or whether they are being wrongfully accused, as the CPM is trying to say.

Let us, however, remember one thing: The CBI is not the first to inquire into case. Much before it, the State Government’s Vigilance police had made a preliminary inquiry and had found corruption in the deal. In fact, the Vigilance took up the case following a report made by the Comptroller & Auditor General of the State Government who found massive loss to public exchequer.

But the CPM, both the state leadership as well as the politburo in Delhi, seem to think there was no reason to examine the case in a court of law. We can understand if the state party unit led by Vijayan says there was no reason for any inquiry, but when the PB, that too the available PB members who consisted of only Prakash Karat, Mrs Brinda Karat and two others, came to the same conclusion even before the official note filed by CBI in the High Court was made public, then it is a matter difficult to comprehend.

That is the problem with this case: People come to conclusions even before they see the evidence, even before they hear the arguments. But will the CPM be able to hold on to its no-inquiry position for long, especially when more and more skeletons are steadily tumbling out of the cupboard?


Unknown said...

its quite well-known to most of the keralites that the whole story is a fabricated one and is not going to affect the political career or future of both Mr.Pinarayi and for that matter, the future of the party a representative of the young generation,who are completely impartial mostly in their political observation,i believe in his innocence.As of our chief minister,who has always been publicity lover and power-centric,his attitude wont influence the public much.i guess.this doent mean that i'm an ardent follower of the party,just tryin to convey the opinion on this particular issue.

Unknown said...

Dear Lakhsmi,

Thanks for your comments. You have a point: media has been trying to decide the case even before it comes to the court.

N P Chekkutty