Defending VS Achuthanandan

Defending VS Achuthanandan is almost like defending sanity

After revealing its true colours by covering Hotel attacks and ignoring Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Teeror Attack, media reveals its bias by unfairly targeting VS Achuthanandan, Chief Minister, Kerala.

Achuthanandan is the man of the masses, media likes only man of certain classes.

Unlike CPI (M) state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, Achuthanandan is known for his honesty.

Prakash Karat should have stood by Achuthanandan when media, opposition and vested interests misrepresented his visit to a martyr's house. Interestingly, Karat chose to remain silent when Singur and Nandigram happened in West Bengal. Unlike Buddhdev Bhattacharya, Achuthanandan is not a psuedo communist. Unfortunately, political parties of all ilk find such people inconvinent.

Achuthanandan deserves praise for the eviction of encroachers from Munnar hill station. In the first phase of the eviction, about 16,000 acres of government land, encroached by rich people were taken back.

In 50 years of the state's history, not a single government has succeeded in taking back even one cent of encroached land from the encroachers.

As a result of the Munnar eviction operation, about 24 suites, constructed illegally on encroached government land, and given out for exorbitant rents had been demolished, which had been appreciated by the people of the country.

Clearly, Pinarayi faction is facing difficulty with the impeccable and honest functioning of Achyutanandan government.

Pinarayi fears that his name would figure in the CBI report on the SNC Lavlin case, a multi-crore scam related to the renovation of three power projects in Kerala.

SNC-Lavalin power scandal is one of the biggest financial scams that rocked Kerala. The Comptroller and Auditor General of India report indicted a CPI (M) -led government of the mid-1990s for a Rs 374.50 crore loss to the exchequer. Three hydel power stations had to be upgraded, tenders were invited and was finalised to an Indian consortium and a Canadian MNC. The foreign company quoted Rs 2.42 crore per MW, the Indian consortium –BHEL and L&T– sought Rs 1.25 per MW. The contract went to the higher bidder, contrary to normal practice.
Kerala State Electricty Baord had signed an MoU with SNC-Lavalin in August 1995. Under the provisions of the MoU, the funds for the renovation were to be arranged by SNC-Lavalin from the Export Development Corporation, Canada, and the Canadian International Development Agency. The Board did so, ignoring the CEA's recommendation that immediate replacement of the generating units at the Pallivasal power station was not called for as the plant was in fairly good condition.

In January 2007, Kerala High Court odrdered a CBI enquiry into the scandal. In February, 2008, CBI informed High court of Kerala that the investigation was progressing and said that former Electricity Ministers Pinarayi Vijayan and G. Karthikeyan would be examined at the appropriate time.

As long as Achuthanandan is there, Vijayan and other beneficiearies of the scam know that he will not come to their rescue. What the Economic Times refers to as "civil war" in Kerala prior to parliamentary elections, must be understood in this backdrop.

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