An open letter to Sitaram Yechuri by Former President of BJP, Mr V Muraleedharan

Kerala State secretariat smothered democratic centralism at top. Mr.Yechuri, are you alive?

I write this letter hoping that you continue to be the de jure General Secretary of CPI (M). Your party had adopted a Report and Resolution on organisation at Calcutta Plenum convened in the end of December, 2015 and had affirmed the commitment to build up a party organisation with “quality membership”, improved ‘class and social composition’ and a party structure based on “democratic centralism.”

In the wake of reports of fraud committed by party state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s son, let me ask you a question. Does an ounce of democratic centralism exist in the party at top level so that you would be able to take any action against your Party Secretary in Kerala?

You may have seen the turn of events and realized their gravity by now. On 24th January media reports poured in displaying a complaint issued by Hasan Ismaeel Abdulla Almarzooqi, owner of JAAS Tourism LLC. The complainant sought the help of Indian officials for extraditing Binoy, from India. He alleged that Binoy had cheated him and his partner Rahul Krishnan of Rs 13 crore and fled Dubai.

It was stated in the complaint that the accused borrowed an amount of 3,13,200 UAE Dirhams (approximately Rs 53.61 lakh) on collateral security for purchasing an Audi car, and 45 lakh UAE Dirhams (approximately Rs 7.7 crore) for investing in business ventures in India, UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Nepal, promising repayment before June 1, 2016. It was further alleged that the accused defaulted in repayment of the car loan midway. The company sought recovery of a sum of Rs 13 crore including interest and litigation expenses. He also alleged that Binoy had taken money from many banks and individuals and fled from UAE. There are reports that there is much more to the allegations than what meets the eye.

Mr. Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s initial reaction was that it was up to Binoy to answer to the controversy. As of now there was no complaint and his son was ready to face legal action.

It was also reported that though Abdulla’s letter was apparently sent to Party Centre; you had feigned ignorance about it and stated that “Nothing has come to me… If anything comes, then we will take it up”. But, according to the press, your party sources said that CPI(M) had received the complaint well in advance and it was forwarded to Kodiyeri Blakrishnan.

In the next 24 hours, two certificates surfaced- a good conduct certificate from Dubai Police and another certificate by Dubai Court that no case has been registered against Binoy so far. Armed with the contents of certificates, the Party dramatically materialised to rescue the state secretary and his son. The State secretariat issued a statement. The gist of the statement is that ‘there is no case against Binoy anywhere in India. Binoy has made it clear that neither any case nor any travel restriction exists against him in Dubai. The Party and the state government have nothing to do with the financial transactions said to have made in a foreign country. The secretariat requested to dismiss the complaint against Kodiyeri as childish.’
The drama did not end there. Reports again emerged that CPM attempted mediation in the issue through KB Ganesh Kumar, MLA who talked to the complainant Rahul Krishna’s father-in-law Rajendran Pillai at Highland hotel in Kottarakara. They were stated to be friends.

The party tried its best to throw the issue away, but it continues to rot under public gaze. People bear the stink.

The public know that the CPM leaders in Kerala began their Political life as ordinary politicians/ party members with no substantial income or assets. Now they see the Party Secretary feasting and travelling for Jana Jagratha Yathra to ‘enlighten people’ in a Mini cooper allegedly owned by an accused in gold smuggling case. Was it an extra-parliamentary movement against the existing bourgeois-landlord order? They are curious to know.

People have been witnessing his sons hobnobbing with influential billionaires and sharing business partnership or plum posts not on their own merit, but because their father is a power centre. They had heard from Former Home minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan that his younger son Bineesh had six criminal cases against him, of which five were withdrawn by police when Kodiyeri was the Home minister. He even got the passport on false certification before the sixth case was withdrawn.

The business and partnerships his son enters into and his borrowal are beyond the imaginations of common man. Where does the capital come from? What is the asset or security that qualifies him for these advances? What is the quid pro quo for the lenders and his partners in business? Do the children of your state leaders have anything to show except the state’s assets, finance and administrative discretion entrusted by public mandate at the disposal of their parent and his organisation? Mr. Kodiyeri had held tourism and Home portfolios. Now his son is a close associate of travel and hospitality giants. It is said that the party secretary’s son has business in seven countries. Still are you unable to connect the dots?

The Party statement in defence of the Secretary’s son is not surprising. More such statements on behalf of the children and near relatives of party leaders are expected to follow from your State secretariat in the coming days. The Chief Minister, many other ministers and party leaders also appears to have taken the party’s Kerala specific quality tutorials on business strategies and entrepreneurial techniques for kith and kin.

As the issue concerns public at large, people would be interested in knowing whether the findings for rectification, extracted hereunder from Calcutta plenum report will have any application to your Kerala state leadership:

  • “1.161 There are instances of complaints about the life style, corrupt practices and persistent violations of Communist norms on the part of certain comrades…..
  • 1.162 The answers from seven state committees show that there are cases where the assets of Party members are disproportionate to their known sources of income…..
  • 1.163 Some states report that there are complaints against certain Party members and leaders who have established connections with real estate promoters, contractors and liquor contractors and helping them.
  • 1.164 There are also complaints against Party members about their lavish life style, spending beyond their known sources of income for building houses which are far above the minimum needs required, spending large amounts on weddings of children, organizing festivities on a lavish scale etc. Eight state committees reported about receiving such complaints.
  • 1.165 There are also complaints about the misuse of positions in the Party or mass fronts to enrich oneself. Some state committees have reported about instances of reluctance or hesitation to investigate such cases which involve persons in leadership positions or those who are influential in the Party.”

It is a conceded position in the plenum report that if the complaints of corruption and misuse of positions in the party involving persons in leadership positions are received, they would not be investigated. Again, admittedly your Central Discipline Commission has hardly received any complaints since it was set up.

However, in the wake of the exposures, would you take up the Kerala Party leaders’ modus operandi of Kins’ asset building suo motu, cause enquiry and bring it to its logical conclusion expelling the State secretary and others of the same feather? Would you resign if you are unable to do it?

Or would the party finally disband the Party Central accepting that state federalism and liberalism of the corrupt has won over democratic centralism? If that is the case, seriously, does your party need a PB and Central Committee?

But it would not happen. I am aware of your limitations within the organisation. It goes without saying that your Party Centre is supposed to advocate the line of the Kerala State Secretariat and guard the capital of the state leaders and their kin. PB and the Central Committee are the comfort zones of the Kerala state leaders, where political documents are cooked to suit their tastes, spiced with promises of rectification to betray the poor and downtrodden, where deceptive strategies are formulated to capture power, engage in money-spinning crafts and have a good time. That gives you the raison d’être.

One need not look elsewhere to find out the reason why the party does not need the poor and socially backward in the PB and Central committee of distinguished persons. The promises on Class and Social compositions are just paper works. Who want those people asking unpleasant questions, right?

V. Muraleedharan