Do Not Threaten Us with CBI Probe, Says CPM's Kodiyeri as Congress Slams Ruling Front

File photo of CBI headquarters in New Delhi. (PTI)

File photo of CBI headquarters in New Delhi. (PTI)

Pointing out that the party was not scared of the central agency, he recalled that the CBI had probed the Lavalin case against Pinarayi Vijayan.

A day after the CBI registered an FIR over allegations relating to the Life Mission housing project at Wadakancherry in Thrissur, the ruling CPI(M) and Opposition Congress locked horns on Saturday with the Marxist party describing the decision as "politically motivated" and that it would not be threatened.

"Do not threaten us with CBI. Neither the CPI(M) nor the LDF government will surrender before the BJP," Party state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan told reporters here after a state committee meeting this evening.

The decision to order a probe into Life Mission project was "politically motivated"and "unusual", he said.

Pointing out that the party was not scared of the central agency, he recalled that the CBI had probed the Lavalin case against Pinarayi Vijayan.

"What happened? Did not the CBI court and High Court dismiss the case? Did not the HC say that the case was a trap against Vijayan?," he asked.

The Lavalin case relates to the award of contracts for renovation and modernisation of three hydel projects to Canadian firm SNC-Lavalin in 1995 when Vijayan was the state electricity minister.

An audit by the Principal Accountant General of Audit in Kerala later pegged the loss to the exchequer due to the deal at over Rs 350 crore.

Opposition leader in the assembly Ramesh Chennithala said with the CBI deciding to conduct the probe, it was clear that serious irregularitieshad taken place in the project, which envisages construction of homes for the homeless.

"This is the biggest corruption which Kerala has ever seen," Chennithala said.

The CBI had filed an FIR in a Kochi court in the case under Section 120 B of the IPC and Section 35 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 on a complaint by Wadakancherry Congress MLA Anil Akkakara, listing Santosh Eappen, Managing Director of Unitac Builder, Kochi, as the first accused and Sane Ventures as the second accused.

Akkakara alleged that there has been violation of the FCRA act by the Life Mission, an agency under the state of Kerala, private companies and others.

KPCC President Mullapally Ramachandran also hit out, alleging that as soon as the CBI probe was announced, some important files relating to the project had been "seized" by Vigilance, which is also probing the matter.

"There are doubts that the Vigilance move was part of destroying evidence," he told reporters here.

Kodiyeri Balakrishnan alleged that an attempt was being made to "destroy" the LDF government and CPI(M), for which central agencies were being used.

"After the BJP government came to power at the Centre, they have tried to destabilise non-BJP governments in various states," he alleged.

In the Life Mission project, on the basis of a complaint by an MLA, CBI probe has been ordered.

The state committee felt this was "unusual" and "politically motivated", Kodiyeri told reporters.

Normally, when the CBI takes over investigation, it is under the recommendation of the High Court or the state government, he said.

However, in the Titanium corruption case, the LDF government had sought a CBI probe a year ago and no decision had been taken so far.

"When a state government recommends a CBI probe, no action is taken. Now on an MLA's complaint, a CBI investigation has been launched," he said.

Asked about the Enforcement Directorate (ED) directing the state registration department to provide details of transactions of properties belonging to his son Binesh Kodiyeri, the Marxist veteran said he had made it clear earlier itself that he would not intervene in any probe.

"Let the investigation be held. If he has done any wrong, he should face the action also," he said.

The ED probing the money trail in the gold smuggling case had questioned Bineesh for over 11 hours on September 9 in connection with the case.

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