Thiruvananthapuram : The CPI-M’s fight against corruption was “hollow”, the Congress said on Saturday after Communist leader V.S. Achuthanandan was seen shaking hands with R. Balakrishna Pillai, who was earlier jailed for corruption.
State Congress president V.M. Sudheeran was responding to questions about the presence of former minister Pillai at a protest meeting organised by the CPI-M led Left Democratic Front, over alleged corruption in the Oommen Chandy government earlier this week.
Pillai was sentenced to a year’s imprisonment in 2011 by the Supreme Court for engaging in criminal conspiracy in the building of a tunnel for an electricity project in 1985, when he was a minister.
After Pillai was jailed, Achuthanandan took credit for it.
The former chief minister often referred to Pillai as a corrupt politician during his campaign in the 2011 assembly polls.
Pillai and his party Kerala Congress-Pillai, which was with the Congress-led United Democratic Front for the past 32 years, decided to part ways in March this year.
“The message that was sent out to all those who saw Pillai and Achuthanandan sitting together is that the CPI-M’s tirades against corruption are hollow,” Sudheeran said.
“It was they (CPI-M) who pursued the case against Pillai and termed him a corrupt person all these years. For the CPI-M, they only look at things and make use of it to suit their needs.
“Their tirades against corruption do not mean anything because when Pillai changed his allegiance, they joined hands,” the Congress leader said.
Achuthanandan said later on Saturday that it was not a matter of concern if it was Pillai or someone else as the Left will accept anyone who speaks against the “corrupt deals” of the Chandy government.
Even though Pillai’s party is yet to be formally inducted as an ally of the Left, the presence of Pillai and his son K.B. Ganesh Kumar – a legislator and former minister in the Chandy government – at the protest meeting raised a few eyebrows.
The local bodies poll in Kerala is likely to be held in September and the assembly poll is scheduled to be held next year.