RSP writes to Yechury to come clean on masala bondtext_fields
Thiruvananthapuram: Former Left ally Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) in Kerala on Monday wrote to CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury pointing out the present controversy on the listing of the masala bond in the London Stock Exchange (LSE) as a stark diversion from the Communist ideology.
A row erupted last week after the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) concluded its debut international issue and closed the Rs 2,150-crore masala bond.
Both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress alleged that one of the main investors was Canada's CDPQ that has invested in SNC-Lavalin which is black-listed in Kerala.
Former Kerala Minister and senior RSP leader Shibhu Baby John in his letter to Yechury pointed out that Kerala has decided to float masala bonds at an exorbitant 9.72 rate of interest.
"Shockingly, the masala bond which is a brain child of the Modi dispensation has been embraced by CPI-M. This is in sharp contrast to yours and other Left parties fight against neo-liberalism and imperialism," wrote John, whose father Baby John was a towering RSP leader in the state.
"Moreover, Left parties have been accusing the Congress party of following neo-liberal policies, which you feel is against national interests.
"In this context, I request your good self to kindly give a clarification in this matter as to whether the above line is consistent with your ideological position. If you find it consistent, the very basis of criticizing Congress economic policies should be stopped forthwith," he said.
On Monday, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told an election rally in Malappuram that all those who were up in arms against this wanted to prevent Kerala from progressing.
"Those who are opposed to this are those who do not wish Kerala to progress. This is a scheme which has been cleared by regulatory bodies and is going to be listed at the LSE. This Canadian company is really big. Nirav Modi has taken huge loans from the State Bank of India and now he is arrested. Does that mean that SBI is tainted," asked Vijayan.
But former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy pointed out that not long ago the very people who were speaking of Kerala's progress had thrown black oil on Asian Development Bank officials and locked up the officials of the World Bank when they came to give loans for Kerala's needs.
Leader of opposition Ramesh Chennithala asked Vijayan to come clean on whether he met top officials of Lavalin when they were here for a few days last month.
SNC Lavalin was blacklisted by the V.S. Achuthanandan-led Left Democratic Front government (2006-11) over allegations that an agreement with them in 1997 for the renovation and modernisation of the Pallivasal, Sengulam and Panniar hydroelectric projects in the state's Idukki district caused a loss of Rs 266 crore to the state exchequer.
This deal was inked when Vijayan was the State Power Minister and the Oommen Chandy-led Congress government had, in 2006, called for a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the entire agreement.
Even though the CBI charge-sheeted Vijayan, he got relief from the Kerala High Court, getting discharged in 2017.
But later, the CBI approached the Supreme Court and demanded that Vijayan face trial. The apex court is expected to give its final orders on this after the summer vacations and the Lok Sabha polls in April-May.