CPM’s Multi Crore Bucket Collection to fight Multi Crore Corruption

published on June 25, 2009

CPM’s bailout plan

VR Jayaraj | Kochi-Daily Pioneer

The CPI (M) in Kerala has started collecting money from party members, families of martyrs and rich fellow-travellers to find the resources to fight the multi-crore corruption case against State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan. The move to collect money for Pinarayi to fight the SNC Lavalin corruption case, in which he is the seventh accused, has already irked the camp of the loyalists of his arch enemy, Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan.

This is for the first time that a Communist party in India is collecting money from the people to fight case of corruption charges against a leader. Also, it is the first time a senior Marxist leader is facing the court in a corruption case in the history of the Indian Communist movement.

Sources in the party say that the aim is to collect Rs 30 crore from the people because the official leadership of the CPI (M) expects the case to be a very costly affair. They point out that nationally-reputed senior lawyers will have to be roped in for arguing the case for Vijayan and this will need quite a lot of money. The LDF Government had earlier spent millions of rupees for court proceedings in an unsuccessful effort to avoid the CBI probe into the SNC Lavalin scam.

The State committee or the State secretariat of the CPI (M) has not so far taken any decision to collect money from the people but collection has already started. The party leadership is explaining that no instruction has been given for such an effort but the organisation’s position is that it would not deny any assistance from the supporters if the come forward voluntarily.

This is the official position of the party, but reports from the districts indicate that this is nothing but real cash collection from the proletariats, industrialists and others. It is also said that CITU is spearheading the money-collection. The VS loyalists argue that the bid is double-edged as it can make money for running the case as well as a pro-Pinarayi sentiment can be developed in the party. They will not cooperate with the effort.

The widows of martyred party leader Azheecodan Raghavan and former Chief Minister EK Nayanar have already announced that they will donate their pensions for a month to the fund for Pinarayi’s court case. The Kottayam district committee has decided to collect Rs 50 crore for the purpose amidst reports that each area committee would collect Rs 10 lakh. Some other district committees have not asked the lower forums to collect money but they will go ahead with a fund movement using the pro-CPI(M) organisations and “party relatives”.

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