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BJP denies 'secret pact' with CPI-M in Lavalin case

BJP denies secret pact with CPI-M in Lavalin case

Thiruvananthapuram: BJP President Kummanem Rajasekheran on Friday denied any secret pact with the CPI-M in the SNC Lavalin case, as alleged by the Congress-led UDF.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was an accused in the case filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation, but a special court here exonerated him in 2013.

The CBI then approached the Kerala High Court against the exoneration. On a few occasions the case has been postponed, either by the CBI or the counsel of Vijayan.

Rajasekheran was responding to the statement of Leader of Opposition and senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala, who on Thursday said the case was being postponed because of a secret pact between the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Rajasekheran said the Congress was spreading canards in the case, which would be heard in the High Court next month.

"At times due to various reasons from either side, the case gets postponed and it's but a natural process. The counsel for Vijayan was unwell. Incidentally it's the Congress which is playing truant as when they were in office, they played the waiting game and now they blame us.

"Our stand is very clear and we want the case to reach its logical conclusion. The wrongdoers have to be punished," said Rajasekheran.

The case pertains to an agreement with Canadian company SNC Lavalin in 1997, when Vijayan was Kerala Power Minister, to repair three generators which allegedly caused a loss of Rs 266 crore to the exchequer.

Vijayan was arraigned by the CBI as the seventh accused in the case, leading to a political furore.

The CPI-M leadership however came to his defence then and said there was no reason for him to step down as secretary of the CPI-M Kerala State Committee as it was not a constitutional post.

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