The two opposition parties are up in arms ever since state CPI-M Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan on Friday pointed to steps taken by states like West Bengal and Maharashtra to withdraw general consent for CBI investigations in the two states, adding that while the CBI could probe certain cases, there was no need for the central agency if the police was able to do so.
On Saturday, Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said that it was understandable why the Pinarayi Vijayan government was thinking of keeping out the CBI.
"The CPI-M government is jittery ever since several corruption cases have surfaced. It will be of no use to Vijayan to try to do this. The CBI will probe the Life Mission scandal as it involves violation of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act. Already, lakhs are being spent by the Vijayan government to oppose CBI probes in a few murder cases," said Muraleedharan.
"We should not forget that Vijayan's colleagues elsewhere in the country have demanded CBI probes in Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu in various cases. Here, they are in the dock and hence they are opposing; but the CBI will do its job," the BJP leader said.
Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said: "Everyone knows why the CPI-M is up in arms against the CBI -- it's because they fear that Vijayan may be questioned by the CBI. Hence, they want to oppose the CBI. Under no circumstances should the government try to prevent the CBI from doing its job. All know that the CPI-M is trying to protect the corrupt and wants to shield Vijayan," said Chennithala.
CPI State Secretary Kanam Rajendran claimed that the CBI was misused to target political rivals.
"The CBI is not the family property of Muraleedharan. The CBI should not take up cases without the consent of the state. The Titanium case in which the Left government wanted a CBI probe was not taken up. We oppose the pick-and-choose attitude of the CBI when it comes to probing cases. Why is the CBI not probing against Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddiurappa?" asked Rajendran.
The LDF government was rocked by the gold smuggling case in July, followed by the Life Mission project in Thrissur.