Probe `corrupt deals' during UDF rule: CPI

Veliyam Bhargavan  

Special Correspondent

`Corrupt politicians and officers should be brought to book'

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The State council of the Communist Party of India (CPI) has decided to seek an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the `corrupt deals' during the previous United Democratic Front (UDF) rule.

Briefing presspersons about the deliberations of the State council meeting held here on Friday, party State secretary Veliyam Bhargavan said here on Saturday that the corruption involving the Industries, Public Works and Transport departments under the UDF rule should be probed and the corrupt politicians and officers should be brought to book. The demand for CBI probe into these corrupt deals would be raised at the Left Democratic Front (LDF) State committee slated for February 22. The Food and Civil Supplies Department had already sought and entrusted with the CBI the investigation into the corruption in the Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation (Supplyco), he said.

Mr. Bhargavan said his party would also seek changes in the agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) when the LDF committee takes up the issue on February 22. There were no differences in the LDF on the point that the agreement with the ADB should be revised. The only difference of opinion is over the absence of proper consultation within the alliance on the details of the agreement. Some changes should be possible in the agreement and these would be finalised by the February 22 meeting, he added.

The CPI leader denied the charge that his party was speaking with a forked tongue on acceptance of ADB loans and that its opposition to acceptance of the loan for the sustainable urban project had not stopped it from accepting the ADB loan for the Agriculture Department under its control.

The UDF Government had negotiated the loan in question and signed the agreement on May 12, 2005. The loan agreement did not also contain any adverse conditions and Rs.106 crore out of the total loan amount comprised grants and the remaining was supposed to be repaid in 30 years, he said.

Stir against price rise

Mr. Bhargavan said the CPI State council decided to hold demonstrations and sit-in before Central Government offices in all Assembly constituencies as part of the countrywide protest against price rise. He accused the Central Government of having brought the price rise upon the people through its economic policies and said the prices were ruling high despite the best efforts of the State Government to procure essential commodities directly from the production centres and sell them at subsidised prices.

He sought additional allocation for the Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation to carry out this task and hoped that more funds would be allocated for the purpose in the days to come. He also came down on the UDF leadership's `insincerity' in fighting price rise. If they had any sincerity in the matter, they should at least hold a demonstration against the Prime Minister in Delhi and ask the Central Government to restore the State's full quota of ration items and correct the policies that resulted in the price rise, he said.

On the controversy over detection of five bullets in CPI(M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan's bag at the Chennai airport, he asked, "What is wrong in a working class party leader carrying bullets,'' and pointed out that Mr. Vijayan could not be faulted because he had been facing threats.