Congress leader and Janasree Sustainable Development Mission chairman M.M. Hassan has said that the mission, as a non-governmental organisation (NGO), has every right to submit projects to the Central government or any other agencies.
Reacting to the allegation by Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac that the Congress-backed Janasree Mission was trying to usurp the funds of the Kudumbasree Mission and local bodies by submitting a Rs.600-crore project to the Central government, Mr. Hassan said there were a number of NGOs in the State that were utilising their right to submit their projects to the government for approval.
The Mararikulam project, initiated by Dr. Isaac in his constituency, was a Central government-aided project, he said, adding that nobody had raised any allegation that it was hijacking the power and funds of the local bodies in the constituency. “We have submitted projects to the Central government, which we hope will be examined and considered for approval,” he said, urging Dr. Isaac to disclose if the Kudumbasree Mission had submitted any project to the Central government.
Alleging that Dr. Isaac had been hostile towards the Janasree Mission since the time of its launch, Mr. Hassan said the Finance Minister had even gone to the extent of saying that the mission should not have been formed in the first place. That was anti-democratic, he added. Accusing the Communist Party of India(Marxist) of politicising the Kudumbasree Mission, Mr. Hassan said that once the United Democratic Front (UDF) government came to power, the Kudumbasree Mission would be liberated from the clutches of the CPI(M).
Today, the Kudumbasree units were being offered benefits through CPI(M)-controlled groups, he said, adding that the UDF was for offering direct assistance to the Kudumbasree units by the government.
He said the CPI(M) leadership's claim that 90 per cent of their women candidates for local body elections were from the Kudumbasree units lent credence to the UDF's criticism that the poverty alleviation project had been politicised. He also said the Janasree Mission was approaching the United Nations and the World Bank with various projects.
“If Dr. Isaac can join Richard Franke of the United States to seek foreign funds for projects involving voluntary activities, why can't the Janasree Mission approach the Central government with projects?” he asked.
The Congress leader said CPI(M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan's continued attacks on church leaders over their alleged attempt to intervene in political affairs was a continuation of late party leader E.M.S. Namboodiripad's attempt to appease majority communalism by raking up the issue of Islamic Shariah in the wake of the Shabano case.
The same CPI(M) leader had later used Saddam Hussein for minority appeasement to gain political dividends during the local body elections. Mr. Vijayan, who was now giving vent to his wrath at the church leaders for expressing their views, had no qualms about visiting church leaders and community leaders during the campaign for the last Assembly elections, he said.
Mr. Hassan also said the CPI(M) leadership was continuously attacking the Church so that it could keep silence on developmental measures or lack of them during the past four-and-half years of the LDF rule. In reply to a question, he also said that the stand of the UDF leadership and the Chief Minister on the lottery issue was same.
Janasree Mission secretary V.S. Balakrishnan and All India Congress Committee member Suma Balakrishnan were among those present at the press meet.
Keywords: NGO projects