Thrithala MLA V.T. Balram is a singular voice in the Congress, especially when the party loses its voice. Not only in the assembly, Balram is the voice of the opposition on social media too. His recent social media post that the solar case can be seen as a reward from the LDF for not taking the conspiracy probe ahead in the TP murder case and reaching a settlement has gone viral. He speaks to Onmanorama on the post and what prompted him to write so.
Why did you decide to react through social media?
The rape case has been filed following a complaint filed by the main accused in the solar scam naming some Congress leaders. Actually it is not under the purview of the solar commission’s terms of reference. You can't file a case based on a letter by somebody who is so untrustworthy. It is not like a vigilance enquiry into a corruption case. She has done several flip-flops on that letter and the names mentioned in the letter. The CPM, however, chose to go ahead with a criminal case based on the letter and this can only be seen as political vendetta.
If that is the case, TP's wife, son, and mother have all claimed at several places that Pinarayi Vijayan had a role in Chandrasekharan's murder. They have said that in interviews and in testimonies. The then union minister of state Mullapalli Ramachandran had spoken about the conspiracy angle several times. If they were following the policy of current government, the UDF could have booked Pinarayi Vijayan. But they didn't do that.
We don't know if Pinarayi Vijayan was on the investigation team's list of accused or if they found that there was not enough proof against him. There are several people who think that this was a slack on our part. I was trying to put forward these things through my post. If the UDF leadership had used this issue for political vendetta then the situation would've been totally different now.
At least now Congress leaders should understand that the CPM leaders are not worthy of such political leniency and they should sharpen their fight against corrupt ministers.
The social media post says that the solar case can be seen as a reward for not taking forward the conspiracy case in the TP murder and reaching a settlement. Was there a compromise?
I was not saying if there was a compromise or not. I was just reiterating the doubts of people concerned that the conspiracy case was not properly investigated. There were testimonies against Pinarayi Vijayan. All the circumstances were against him. A case could have been filed against him. The investigation should have progressed in this manner. This didn't happen and I was talking about this. There is no need to wrongly define the word settlement. I believe that the CBI should probe the conspiracy case and bring out the truth.
Despite allegations against CPM leaders the then ruling dispensation failed to file a case. Aren't those in power then responsible?
May not be. It could be officials. Or it could be that the then government leadership didn't get involved in it. But if we go by what CPM is doing now, we could have done the same to them. What I was trying to say was that despite having enough grounds to move legally against political opponents that didn't happen. And that is very pronounced now when you look at the present situation.
If there was a case, shouldn’t legal action be taken then?
As I told you, my post is not about TP murder case. There is feeling among party workers that despite having several allegations against the LDF government, the Congress is not able to protest effectively. There were several reports against Thomas Chandy. Media is reporting on the issue. The district collector's reports talk about several violations by the minister. However, senior Congress leaders are not protesting strongly. The opposition leader is reacting; Alapuzha District Congress Committee and Youth Congress are staging protests. But Congress workers and well-wishers feel that the party has not been able to organize a state-wide protest against the issue. I was trying to share these issues in the post.
Have raised your opinion on TP case in party committees earlier?
There were no discussions on this issue. As I told you this post is not about TP case. Instead, it is about the general opinion on the stance to be taken against the CPM government.
You said the Congress leadership is not reacting to the faults of the LDF government. Can this be seen as the opposition's failure?
No need to see it in that way. The Oppositions leader is active both inside and outside the Assembly. What I meant was that in some things there needs to be a change.
If you take the usage adjustment politics, no need to see this in the wrong way. For example, the CPM central leadership says there is nothing wrong in joining hands with the Congress to fight the BJP. That is called an adjustment in politics. Sharing of common stand. But if it is for individual gains, such aspects should be opposed. Actually adjustment is happening not between parties, but among leaders for all political parties.
Actually, Pinarayi Vijayan and the BJP are indulging in adjustment politics. Pinarayi Vijayan has gifted a weapon to BJP to weaken the nationwide protests spearheaded by Rahul Gandhi against the Modi government and Amit Shah's son's corruption. Though there are several cases against BJP leaders, the Pinarayi government is going slow on them. The BJP is returning the favor by not appealing in the Lavalin case and not asking the CBI to probe the conspiracy angle in the TP murder case.
State BJP president Kummanam Rajasekharan is seeking a case against you for the social media post.
Let them file a case. And let them put me in the same jail where Kummanam is being put up in the fake video case.