Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan could not have found a more appropriate venue to decry the alleged attempt to target him personally in the SNC-Lavalin corruption case than the Malabar Cancer Centre (MCC) at Thalassery, which was linked to the case probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation.
The Chief Minister visited the MCC on Sunday to inaugurate the Cancer Genetic Laboratory set up there. The visit, however, assumed significance as it occurred in the wake of his recent acquittal in the SNC-Lavalin case by the High Court. It was the deal for setting up the MCC for which the Canadian company promised financial aid, as part of the contract for refurbishing the three hydro-electric projects in the State, that led to the case in which Mr. Vijayan, then Electricity Minister, was one of the accused.
The Chief Minister said at the function that after the establishment of the MCC, there had been attempts to level corruption charges targeting him. Now even the court had asked if there was a deliberate attempt to hunt him politically. Chennai-based firm, Technicalia, had been entrusted with the construction of the MCC, he said adding that it was alleged that even that firm was unauthorised. The firm was considered for the work because of its experience as being the consultancy for the construction of the Pariyaram Medical College, he said. The MCC had survived all corruption charges and had grown into a major health care institution.
Mr. Vijayan said that the MCC had been conceived in 1996 during the then Left Democratic Front government as a cancer centre in collaboration with the Canadian company. The MCC had come into existence with the cooperation of all sections, he said. He said the MCC would be elevated to the standard of the Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) in Thiruvananthapuram.
Health Minister K.K. Shylaja, Thalassery MLA A.N. Shamseer, district panchayat president K.V. Sumesh, and MCC Director Satheeshan Balsubramanian were present.