From Marx to Manichan and Martin, CPMs fall from grace

via Pioneer News Service | Thiruvananthapuram published on June 30, 2007

The CPI (M), a party with Marxist leanings is now facing the heat after sensational disclosures regarding the party leadership taking money from businessmen.

The credibility of the CPI (M) in recent times was affected to the core when the party leadership took money from the spirit king Manichan who is now lodged in jail following the death of several persons in the illicit hooch tragedy at Kalluvathukkal which shook the previous LDF Government under Nayanar.

The accusations was that the then political secretary of the Chief Minister P Sasi who is presently a State committee member of the CPI (M) and the Kannur district secretary of the party was involved in financial dealings with the spirit king, Manichan.

The CPI (M) was red faced when the diary of the jailed spirit don was recovered in which he named several CPI (M) and CPI leaders as beneficiaries of his largesse. The names of several bureaucrats including senior IPS officers have also come up for having accepted money from him.

With the new Government in power, the CPI (M) has again started using its power to raise money through illicit means and the first instance has come out when the deputy general manager of the party organ, Deshabhimani, K Venugopal is expelled from the party after the allegation that he had accepted money from the private money dealer LIS for helping him to settle a criminal case against him regarding loitering of public money.

The amount of settlement was high but the allegation was that Venugopal has taken grease money worth Rs 1 crore from the private finance company. The CPI (M) expelled him from the party a day before the central committee meeting of the party was to start in Delhi.

The opposition and a section of the CPI (M) leaders owing allegiance to the Chief Minister Achuthanandan are of the opinion that the party leadership does know who the real shark behind the LIS deal is and that Venugopal is only a scapegoat.

After this incident, Mathrubhumi, a leading vernacular daily carried a story regarding the deposit of Rs 2 crore money as bonds in Deshabhimani, the CPI (M) mouth piece in the name of the sons of the tainted lottery mafia king, Santiago Martin against whom several criminal cases are pending.

The general manager of the paper EP Jayarajan who is also a central committee member of the party released a written statement in the letter pad of Dehabhimani that the party has accepted money in the form of bonds and that there is nothing wrong in this. Almost all dailies and visual media carried the news with prominence and within 24 hours Jayarajan came out with the statement that the party mouth piece has not issued any bonds.

When asked repeatedly he never admitted of having accepted money but said that generally the paper accepts advance money which could be adjusted in the account of advertisement revenue, which is considered by many as not at all a convincing argument from a senior leader of the CPI (M).

The fierce groupism in the party is said to be the reason behind this open washing of dirty linen in public and the official faction of the party has fallen from grace in the whole episode.

The CPI (M) which used to pride itself as the party which takes public money by way of bucket collections and other local collections from ordinary working class is now caught in a catch 22 situation with almost all the senior leaders of the official faction of the party which is in-charge of the party affairs in the midst of controversies.

To top the list is the party State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan who is facing an enquiry by the CBI into the controversial SNC Lavelin deal.

According to the opposition, the CPI (M) secretary who was the Power Minister in the LDF Government of Nayanar had entered into an understanding with the SNC Lavelin company for the maintenance and restructuring of the power projects in Pallivasal, Paniyar and Chenkulam and there are allegations that the CPI (M) leader or some one close to him has accepted money as kick backs from the Canadian company.

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