Lawyer Vivek Tankha embarrasses Congress
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Congress in the state has suffered another embarrassment with the party's Rajya Sabha MP and senior lawyer Vivek Tankha appearing for tainted transport minister Thomas Chandy in the High Court in the lake encroachment case on Tuesday. The Congress leaders, including KPCC president M. M. Hassan, failed to dissuade Mr Tankha from defending Mr Chandy. Mr Tankha cited his personal friendship with Mr Chandy for his action. Mr Hassan told reporters that he had apprised the AICC about the development. "I spoke to Vivek Tankha over the phone and asked him not to appear for the tainted minister. But he claimed that he appeared for Thomas Chandy citing personal friendship," said Mr Hassan.
Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala told reporters in Palakkad that Mr Tankha should not have appeared for Thomas Chandy. Former KPCC president V. M. Sudheeran said Mr Tankha should have shown political propriety, though as a lawyer he has every right to take up the cases. But he has betrayed the Congress and the UDF, claimed Mr Sudheeran. "Such incidents should not be repeated by the Congress lawyers in future. I hope the AICC leadership will take timely action,"he said.
In the past also, Congress lawyers had worked for the rivals. Mr S. S. Ray, a senior AICC leader then, appeared for Mavoor Gwalior Rayons when K. Karunakaran was the chief minister in the state in the 70s. The Karunakaran government had come out with an ordinance against the company which was polluting the Chaliyar river. But Ray filed a writ petition in the High Court against the ordinance and won the case displeasing Karunakaran.