THIRUVANANTHAPURAM - Kerala Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan Tuesday termed as “arbitrary” the governor’s nod to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to prosecute party leader Pinarayi Vijayan in the Rs.300 crore (Rs.3 billion) SNC Lavalin scam. He added that the governor had not informed the state government about his decision.
“His decision was an arbitrary decision and he has flouted the rules. He should have informed the government because he is the head of the government,” Balakrishnan told reporters here.
Kerala Governor R.S. Gavai had Sunday called the head of the CBI office here to his residence and handed over a 148-page report, giving his sanction to prosecute Vijayan.
Vijayan is accused of wrongfully awarding a contract to Canadian company SNC Lavalin for renovation of two power plants when he was the state power minister in 1997.
This is the first time a CPI-M politburo member has been accused in a multi-million rupee scam and will face prosecution. The party Monday termed the governor’s decision as “unfortunate” and said it would fight the case “both politically and legally”.
But leader of opposition and former chief minister Oommen Chandy told reporters in Kannur that there was nothing wrong with the governor’s decision.
“There is no rule that the governor should inform the government,” Chandy said.
State Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president P.K. Krishna Das said that constitutional impropriety was being shown by the ministers who are criticising the governor.
“If they want to criticise the governor, then first they have to resign as ministers. Since the past two days a few ministers have openly criticised the governor and that is wrong,” said Krishna Das.
Vijayan has so far maintained silence in the matter.