Kerala

CPI(M) disinclined to revisit VACB controversy

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Thursday appeared disinclined to allow any further discussion on the propriety of the “surprise raid” by the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) on Kerala State Financial Enterprise (KSFE) offices in the State last week.

CPI(M) acting State secretary A. Vijayaraghavan said with a seemingly abrupt finality that the matter was a closed chapter.

When pressed whether the party had censured Dr. Isaac and CPI(M) State secretariat member Anathalavattom Anandan for their pronouncements on the “undesirability” of the raid, Mr. Vijayraghavan said that “the party communique is self-evident”.

Mr. Vijayaraghavan’s position was interpreted widely as a rejection of Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac’s averment on Tuesday that he would broach the issue in the party after the elections.

Dr. Isaac and Mr. Anandan had adopted the position that the Vigilance, headed by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, should have kept the Finance Minister in the loop about the surprise inspections. They had also implied that the checks had cast a shadow on the credibility of the KSFE and profited private chit fund firms.

‘Insurrection against CM’

The leaders reportedly came under criticism in the CPI(M) secretariat for providing ammunition to Opposition parties to insinuate that the Home and Finance Departments were at odds with each other. The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party had also “conveniently” decoded the statements as an insurrection against Mr. Vijayan in the party and the government.

State secretary of the Communist Party of India (CPI) Kanam Rajendran has also rejected Dr. Isaac’s view that the raids would advantage private finance firms. “There are about 130 public sector institutions in Kerala. Normally, it is the head of the institution rather than the Minister who responds,” he said.

Opposition parties also attempted to depict Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan’s decision to task the Privileges and Ethics Committee of the Assembly to probe Dr. Isaac for breach of privilege as a sign of his abandonment by the party and administration.

However, Dr. Isaac welcomed the opportunity to state his case relating to the Comptroller and Auditor General’s report to the Assembly committee. He said the Speaker’s decision was not a punishment as made out by Opposition parties.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2021 4:52:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/cpim-disinclined-to-revisit-vacb-controversy/article33232114.ece

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