Thiruvananthapuram, June 10 (ANI): Kerala Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan on Wednesday said State Governor R S Gavai's nod to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to prosecute CPI-M party leader Pinarayi Vijayan in connection with the SNC Lavalin scam was not surprising.
"The governor's decision is not surprising. Don't you know that there have been several instances in the past where governors have taken such a stand," said Achuthanandan.
He clarified that no discussions were held on the issue during Wednesday's cabinet meeting.
"It was decided that all ministers should get time to study the issue and, we have decided to take this up at the next cabinet meeting," Achuthanandan said.
Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) convenor PP Thankachen hailed Achuthanandan's remarks.
"His analysis of the situation and the manner in which he made his views is the correct decision. We welcome his statement," Thankachen said.
The CPM on Monday had criticized the Kerala Governor for sanctioning Vijayan's prosecution by the CBI in the 3 billion rupee SNC Lavalin scam, and said it would fight the case both politically and legally.
On Sunday, Gavai had given sanction to the CBI to prosecute Vijayan in connection with his involvement in the sensitive SNC Lavalin graft case.
He had called the head of the CBI office to his residence and handed over the 148-page report, giving his sanction to prosecute Vijayan.
The case pertained to alleged corruption and irregularities in awarding contract for renovation of three hydro-electric projects-Panniyanr, Chenkulam and Pallivasal-to Canadian firm SNC Lavalin when Vijayan was Power Minister in 1998.
The CBI, which probed the case, had found irregularities in awarding the contract and wanted to arraign Vijayan as ninth accused in the case.
The agency had also stated that the contract had resulted in huge loss to the state exchequer.
This is the first time a CPI-M politburo member has been accused in a multi-million rupee scam and will face prosecution. (ANI)