news Tuesday, January 27, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | January 27, 2015 | 2.30 pm IST Veteran communist V.S. Achuthanandan Tuesday praised his arch political opponent R. Balakrishna Pillai for his stand against corruption, especially against Finance Minister K.M. Mani, facing a graft allegation. Ironically, Achuthanandan, as chief minister, sent his arch political opponent R. Balakrishna Pillai to jail in a corruption case. "We the Left will appreciate anyone who speaks against corruption. It does not matter if it is Pillai or (P.C.) George (the government chief whip and vice chairman of Kerala Congress-Mani)," Achuthanandan told reporters here, Tuesday. Politics and relations between the parties in the bi-polar Kerala politics, mostly centered around the Congress-led UDF and the CPI-M led LDF presently appear to undergo some churning with Achuthanandan's statement. Pillai who was among the founder leaders of the UDF in the early eighties is virtually on his way out of the UDF as he has not been invited to the UDF meeting tomorrow. The decision appears to have come after an audio conversation between him and whistle-blower Biju Ramesh, a bar owner, came out in the open last week. In it, Pillai is heard asking Ramesh to move the Kerala High Court seeking a CBI probe into the bar graft allegation Ramesh levelled in October against Mani. Ramesh had claimed that Mani was given Rs.1 crore as the first instalment of the Rs.5-crore bribe that he sought to help reopen bars in the state. Tuesday witnessed increased political activity as Chief Minister Oommen Chandy held closed door meeting with party president V.M. Sudheeran at the Congress party headquarters. Tweet P.K. Kunhalikutty who heads the second biggest ally of the UDF- the Indian Union Muslim League also was closeted with Sudheeran. "We will inform our decision at UDF meeting tomorrow (Wednesday)," when asked if they want Pillai to be taken to task for his statements. CPI-M state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan Monday gave enough indications that they were not averse to induct Pillai into their fold. Congress spokesperson and party legislator Joseph Vazhaken told reporters Tuesday that value-based politics as often talked about by Achuthanandan and the CPI-M is all humbug. Wednesday's UDF meeting is crucial for George also as ever since the Chandy government assumed office, he has been giving sleepless nights not only to his party but also to the Chandy government. George who headed the Kerala Congress-Secular and was an ally of the Left in 2010 merged his party with that of Mani's party. After winning the 2011 assembly polls, he has been giving trouble to both Mani and Chandy as he was not made a minister Today majority of those in the party of Mani, want George to be shown the door. IANS
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