20 September 2019
Kottayam: Kerala Congress President Mullapally Ramachandran on Friday gave a veiled warning to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, saying he would soon be eating "government food" as the Supreme Court is going to take up a case in which he will be arraigned as an accused.
Ramachandran said this to the media here after Vijayan's remarks against former state Public Works Department Minister and senior opposition legislator of the Indian Union Muslim league V.K. Ebrahim Kunju, who could be arrested shortly in the Palarivattom flyover case in which already four officials are behind bars.
"It's not Kunju who is going to have government food, instead, it would be Vijayan who would be having that and it would be known very soon," said Ramachandran.
During the Pala Assembly by-election campaign, Vijayan, without naming Kunju, said if that man doesn't behave, he will soon be eating government food (food served in prison) and the Left government will show no mercy to anyone, irrespective of who they are, if they are found to be corrupt.
The Supreme Court has listed the SNC Lavalin case for final hearing on October 1. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) wants Vijayan to face trial in the case.
The case pertains to an agreement with Canadian firm SNC Lavalin in 1997 for the renovation and modernisation of Pallivasal, Sengulam and Panniar hydroelectric projects in Idukki district, which allegedly caused a loss of Rs 266 crore to the exchequer. It was inked when Vijayan was the state electricity minister.
Leader of Opposition and senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala said that everyone knows Vijayan's role in the case.
"He needn't threaten anyone as everyone knows his role in the Lavalin case and it's he who speaks of corruption. We are the least perturbed by his threats and very soon, we will all know about the Lavalin case," he said.
Meanwhile, former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, under whose tenure the Palarivattom flyover was built, told the media that they are the least worried by any probe which is currently on in the flyover case.
"At times the cabinet makes realistic and practical decisions. We are prepared to face anything in the case," he said.
Built at a cost of Rs 42 crore, the 750-metre flyover was supposed to serve for over 100 years. It was opened in October 2016 and within three years the flyover started crumbling and was shut for traffic.
Earlier this week, Vijayan announced that the flyover is going to be knocked down, with Metroman E.Sreedharan entrusted with building a new one.