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Achuthanandan named in land scam,offers to quit as Oppn leader

Party rejects resignation offer saying the case is result of a 'political conspiracy'.

Written by Agencies | Thiruvananthapuram |
January 13, 2012 3:24:22 pm

Facing a vigilance case,CPI(M) veteran V S Achuthanandan on Friday offered to resign as leader of the Opposition in Kerala Assembly,but the party central leadership rejected it holding that it was a political conspiracy against him by the Congress-led UDF government.

With the Vigilance and Anti-corruption Bureau (VACB) set to file an FIR today over alleged irregularities in assigning of land to a relative of Achuthanandan when he was the chief minister,the Marxist leader informed his party’s central leaders that he was ready to step down as Opposition leader.

According to party sources,the national leadership firmly held that there was no need for him to resign since the case was the result of a “political conspiracy” against him.

CPI(M) polit bureau member Sitaram Yechury termed the case against the 87-year-old leader as a “political conspiracy” and rejected the UDF demand for his resignation as the leader of the Opposition.

“Achuthanandan stands tallest as a leader who has never compromised in his fight against corruption and that has been proved during the last Assembly polls,” he said.

Achuthanandan is a founder leader of the party and member of its central committee.

According to VACB sources,Achuthanadan would be arraigned as the first accused in the case in which seven others,including CPI leader and former minister K P Rajendran and some IAS officers,are to be listed as co-accused in the FIR to be filed in a vigilance court in Kozhikode.

The investigating agency had on Wednesday recommended registering a case against Achuthanandan and others after a probe,ordered after the Congress-led UDF came to power last year,found that assigning of land to ex-service personnel T K Soman involved ‘gross irregularities’.

CPI(M) state Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan also rejected the UDF demand for Achuthanandan’s resignation,holding that the investigation into the charges had not even begun.

Addressing the the party’s Kannur district conference at Payyannur,he said the UDF had no moral right to make such a demand as its government had ministers who had been charge sheeted in corruption cases by the Vigilance.

This was for the first time that the state leadership was officially reacting to the government’s move to register a case against Achuthanandan.

“In this case,the vigilance is only about to file an FIR as part of the procedures. The detailed investigation has to follow. There is no ground for demanding resignation of V S Achuthanandan since the investigation had not even started,” Vijayan said.

Vijayan,often seen as a bete noire of Achuthandanan in the factional tussles of the CPI(M) in Kerala,asserted that the UDF leaders need not entertain any illusion that they could intimidate the party by foisting cases against its leaders.

“Let the case come. We will face it legally,” he said.

Vijayan said the case was borne out of the UDF’s “frustration” in getting isolated from the people day-by-day.

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