Dissent fumes in CPM over ‘rectification’ plan

via Thiruvananthapuram | VR Jayaraj published on September 11, 2009

Dissent fumes in CPM over ‘rectification’ plan

Thiruvananthapuram | VR Jayaraj

Do the top Marxist leaders facing serious allegations of corruption, luxurious life and mafia connections have the right to advise lower level functionaries to stay away from corrupt practices and love for luxury? This is the question being seriously discussed presently among the lower levels of the CPI(M) in Kerala, in the context of the Politburo move to re-energize 13-year-old rectification programme to control the love for money and luxury among leaders down to the level of branch committee secretaries.

The CPI(M) central committee is scheduled to take up a rectification campaign, similar to the one the party had tried to implement way back in 1996 and had failed miserably, to eradicate the tendency to amass wealth seen among the party leaders. As per this rectification programme aimed at checking “bourgeois tendencies”, the party would make it imperative for leaders down to the level of branch secretaries to declare their assets from time to time.

Though the top CPI(M) leadership is trying to explain that the move is not at all new but that it is just a logical step the party has to adopt on the basis of discussions in its 19th congress at Coimbatore in March-April 2008, several leaders in Kerala agree that this is nothing an admission of the failure to contain the unethical amassment of wealth by top functionaries.

These leaders also agree that the party is now going in for re-energizing the rectification programme out of the compulsion emanating from the humiliating electoral defeat the CPI(M) suffered in West Bengal and Kerala. “The top leadership is in an unenviable situation where it has understood that the main reason for this defeat was the moral degradation and thirst for power and wealth among the leaders,” said a member of the party’s Kerala State committee.

The mission of the central committee of the party, when it meets in Delhi towards October end, will be to finalize and adopt a policy of rectification in the party to ensure that the leaders and workers comply with a “communist lifestyle” by abandoning the path to bourgeois style.

However, dissatisfaction is fuming among the lower levels of party leadership in the party over the rectification programme now being revitalized. The main objection to the new move is that the top leadership, which allegedly consists of “people who are allegedly involved in massive corruption cases of international ramifications and those who are allegedly keeping connections with hired hoodlums”.

“(Kerala CPI(M) secretary) Pinarayi Vijayan is the seventh accused in a CBI case relating to the Rs 374.5-crore SNC Lavalin corruption case. He is yet to explain from where he had got the Rs 50 lakh to admit his son to Birmingham University, UK. There are several such allegations, including the one about his links with controverdial businessman Pharis Aboobacker. How can the Politburo, which includes people like Pinarayi think of asking the branch secretaries to declare their wealth,” asked the State committee member.

He pointed out that the Politburo, which wanted the low level leaders to stay away from bourgeois whims and tendencies, also consisted of people like Kerala Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, who was presently being accused of protecting gangs of murderers in the context of the probe into the killing of industrialist Paul George Muthoot.

“The marriage of Bineesh Kodiyeri, son of the Minister and the PB comrade, was held at the deluxe hotel, Mascot, in Thiruvananthapuram, where only the rich and the powerful enter. The PB, which is now asking party leaders to stay away from luxurious lifestyles, has been unable to stop such practices by its own members in the past 13 years of rectification. Pinarayi was there at the Kodiyeri marriage function, but we have not so far heard of him telling Kodiyeri about the inappropriateness of such a grand function,” the State committee member said.

He said that he was not raising this criticism because he had things to hide. “On the contrary, men like me have not amassed any wealth and we are even now against such tendencies. How many of the central committee members and PB members from Kerala take a train – and not a plain – to Delhi or Kolkata for meetings? After all this, they are now trying to find fault with the lower level leaders,” he fumed.

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