he Kerala CPI(M) is facing the worst dilemma in its history. The corruption charges against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his daughter and IT entrepreneur T Veena are the talk of the town. With a slew of corruption charges involving Vijayan’s family doing rounds, it has become difficult for the party to save the face.
Although state secretary M V Govindan came out with a statement defending the family, according to analysts, it was a left-handed compliment to the chief minister and done more damage than any good.
The issue brewed up with Interim Board for Settlement under the Central Board of Taxes regarding a settlement application filed by Kochi-based Cochin Minerals and Rutile Limited (CMRL), and its Managing Director Sasidharan Kartha. Kartha is known to have association and relation with all the political leaders. In the judgement of the Interim Board, they published the names and details of political leaders who were receiving monthly kickbacks from Kartha. Muslim League leaders P K Kunhalikutty (K.K), Ibrahim Kunju (IK), Congress leaders Ommen Chandy (OC), Ramesh Chennithala (RC) and Pinarayi Vijayan (PV) were the names mentioned in the diary. Ommen Chandy is no more and all other leaders except Pinarayi agreed that they were receiving money for the work of their parties.
Pinarayi kept silent for months together and on the last day he met media. He said he is not the PV which was mentioned in the report. But the document of the board also showed T Veena’s name. Veena is the daughter of Pinarayi Vijayan and wife of Muhamad Riyas, a minister in state cabinet. The accounts and affidavit filed by CMRL shows that Veena was getting a monthly payment of Rs 5 lakh. And Kartha paid Rs 1.72 crore for getting IT solutions. The affidavit clearly shows that the company didn’t get any service from T Veena and her company Exalogic. The chief minister and CPI(M) were trying to ease out the issue with the statement that it is a business deal. The public and opposition argue that if it is a business deal then she should have provided some IT services. BJP state president K Surendran told the media that she is getting monthly kickbacks from so many organisations and business groups.
Now CPI(M) state secretary M V Govindan says that Pinarayi told the name PV is not he so the discussions on this should be stopped and nobody should go beyond it. All the allegations raised against CM and family are fake, he added. He told the media that there is a tendency in the government, bureaucracy and party to become a power centre. He alleged that the good deeds of the government are not reaching to the grassroot level and the Enforcement Directorate is trying to thwart the activities of the co-operative sector in Kerala.
Even though M V Govindan tried to provide a blanket shield for Pinarayi and daughter, the dissent is brewing from within the lower strata of the CPI(M). Interim Board didn’t accept CMRL’s payment to Veena as permissible expense. As the amount was paid to the daughter of a prominent leader and no services were provided by her organisation. The CPI(M) leadership is also sweating to explain this to party cadres and the general public. Recently, in the purchase of AI cameras for the Transport Department also there was an allegation against the son and family members of Vijayan’s wife.
Now the political analysts says that ,M.V.Govindan’s pinpointed comment on tendency of power centres is a ditch on Pinarayi.To save the face of party and to defend the corruption allegations the leadership is in a firefight mood.