CPM cadres hit Kerala streets

Politburo will discuss Lavalin developments: VS

Led by state leaders including MLAs, they burnt effigies of the Governor, stoned vehicles, forced shops to down shutters and halted vehicular traffic in several parts of the state on Monday. The observance of black day turned into hartal in Kannur and Palakkad districts. A vehicle belonging to the Central Excise was burnt in Kozhikode while another of the Indian Space Research Organisation was set on fire here.

Cautious reaction

There was much caution in the comments of the central as well as state leaders when asked whether Vijayan would be removed from the top post in the state. Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan and his supporters who have much cause for celebration said the politburo (PB) would discuss the latest developments. PB member M K Pandhe said if someone raised the matter, it would indeed be discussed while Home Minister and PB member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the party would face the case in court. However, party central committee member and minister for cultural affairs M A Baby said Vijayan would continue as secretary.

CPI secretary A B Bardhan said in Delhi that it would have been better for Vijayan to face the case legally. "It would have set a model for political leaders in Kerala as well as in the country. But at the same time, the Governor has set a wrong precedent by rejecting the Cabinet's recommendation. He seemed to have been under pressure,'' he said.

Opposition leader Oommen Chandy asked why the CPM was unable to convince its own allies in the LDF on the merits of the case as they have now said that the Lavalin case was not politically motivated.

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