Kerala:VS offers to quit as Opposition leader

Thiruvananthapuram: Facing a vigilance case, CPI(M) veteran V S Achuthanandan today offered to resign as leader of the Opposition in Kerala Assembly, but the party central leadership rejected it holding that it was a political conspiracy against him by the Congress-led UDF Government.

With the Vigilance and Anti-corruption Bureau (VACB) set to file an FIR over alleged irregularities in assigning of land to a relative of Achuthanandan when he was the chief minister, the Marxist leader informed his party`s central leaders that he was ready to step down as opposition leader.

According to party sources, the national leadership firmly held that there was no need for him to resign since the case was the result of a "political conspiracy" against him.
CPI(M) polit bureau member Sitaram Yechuri termed the case against the 87-year-old leader as a "political conspiracy" and rejected the UDF demand for his resignation as the Leader of the Opposition.

"Achuthanandan stands tallest as a leader who has never compromised in his fight against corruption and that has been proved during the last assembly polls," he said.
Achuthanandan is a founder leader of the party and member of its Central Committee.

According to VACB sources, Achuthanadan would be arraigned as the first accused in the case in which seven others, including CPI leader and former minister K P Rajendran and some IAS officers, are to be listed as co-accused in the FIR to be filed in a vigilance court in Kozhikode.

The investigating agency had on Wednesday recommended registering a case against Achuthanandan and others after a probe, ordered after the Congress led UDF came to power last year, found that assigning of land to ex-service personnel T K Soman involved `gross irregularities`.