No confusion on Achuthanandans candidature

New Delhi: The CPI-M on Thursday said there was "no confusion" within the party on the candidature of Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan for the upcoming assembly polls and the process to finalise the list of candidates in the state was currently on.

"There is no confusion at all. We have a process to finalise the candidates and that process is on. Let it be over. Everything will be clear," senior party leader Sitaram Yechury told reporters here.

He was asked whether there was "any confusion" in the CPI-M over Achuthanandan`s candidature. The party`s Kerala state unit has deferred till next week a decision to finalise the list of candidates for the April 13 assembly polls. The state committee is likely to meet on March 16 after finalising the seat-sharing with other LDF partners.

Asked about General Secretary Prakash Karat announcing that Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee would lead the poll battle in West Bengal but nothing about Achuthanandan, Yechury said the West Bengal unit had decided on Bhattacharjee`s leadership earlier itself, whereas the matter was yet to be finalised by the Kerala party.

To a question whether CPI-M regretted making P J Thomas the Kerala Chief Secretary in 2007 when he was facing charges in the Palmolein import scam, he said LDF government had re-opened the palmolein case after it was closed by the previous Congress-led UDF government.

"The same Achuthanandan government had appointed someone else as the chief secretary. But the IAS officers wanted the seniority criteria to be maintained. It was only then that Thomas was appointed as chief secretary."

While quashing Thomas` appointment as Central Vigilance Commissioner, he said the Supreme Court had made a distinction between the posts of chief secretary and Telecom Secretary, held by Thomas earlier, observing that the integrity of a constitutional institution like CVC should be maintained.

To questions on the Joint Parliamentary Committee of which he is a member, Yechury said the role of Thomas, who was the Telecom Secretary when the 2G spectrum was being allocated, could "be under the scanner".

Asked whether journalists, whose names figure in the Niira Radia tapes, would be called by JPC, he said those who can "throw some light" on the scam might be called.