Saturday, February 23, 2008

West Bengal CPM learning its lessons from Raj Thackrey

Seems CPM is learning its lessons well from Raj Thackrey. a CPI(M) minister and some leaders used a meeting - on the eve of International Mother Language Day - to make derogatory comments about Marwaris and Biharis. Abdur Rezzak Mollah, a senior CPI(M) minister, set the tone by proclaiming that "Meros (Marwaris) are developers and get their work done by bribing their way through". Mollah's attacks on Marwaris, and that too, using the derogatory term 'Mero', came at a programme organised by the Bhasha Chetana Samiti, a Left-backed organisation.

Imanul Haque of Bhasha Chetana Samiti and Ratan Bhattacharya of Bhasa Sanskriti Swadhikar Mancha made similar comments. Haque said, "Those who wish to stay in West Bengal must learn Bengali." Bhattacharya accused Marwaris of incessant land grabbing in the suburbs in the name of constructing factories. "Their actual plan is to build shopping malls, and the sons of Bengal are not getting jobs," Bhattacharya said, claiming that Biharis are being employed at railway stations in large numbers. "With Bengali finding no place in reservation lists, a large number of Hindi-speaking people have taken over jobs here," he said.

The Bhasha Chetana Samiti, the Bhasa Sanskriti Swadhikar Mancha and other such bodies want the Government to make it mandatory for all residents of West Bengal to know how to read, write and speak the language. They also want all work of the Government to be done in Bengali, and the language made compulsory at the primary school-level with English as an optional language.

Friday, February 22, 2008

LDF Claims to be sole supporter of Conversion!

Lonappan Nambadan, MP, has said that the Left Democratic Front is the sole source of strength and support for minorities.

He was addressing a meeting at the Church-run St. Thomas College here on Thursday. “Congress and BJP-ruled States have passed anti-conversion laws. The Left-ruled States, Tripura, West Bengal and Kerala, have not rushed to do that,” he said. Quoting the Bible, he said faith without putting it into practice was meaningless.

is LDF Claiming that they are the only Group actively supporting conversion?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Another LDF U-turn, now on Kerala expressway

Yesterday there was another U turn by LDF, After the nod to tolled national highways, the state government is now set to revive the North-South Expressway and has already approached the World Bank for preliminary funding.

Wow Tolled Highways, Expressway, Load from World Bank!!! That would be 3 U-Turns in short span of few weeks!

The LDF had vehemently opposed the same expressway when it was in the opposition and the previous A K Antony government had proposed it.

I still remember those days with nostalgia when we were forcefully told by CPM Intellectuals that this expressway will divide state into two, some even said that it will destroy Underground waterlanes thus can never be allowed in Kerala. Well those were different time. 

“The Government’s initial stand was against toll-based projects as we felt it would burden the common man. But it is not a bad idea keeping in mind long-term benefits. Besides, in a tourism-dependent state like ours, good connectivity is crucial. Hence the decision was taken in larger public interest,” Kerala PWD Minister Mons Joseph  told The Indian Express last month.

I guess it essentially means that since now we are doing it, it has to be good!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Its time Pinarayi Vijayan take some moral lessons from Advani

It is foolhardy to compare a leader of Advani's stature to Kerala CPM Party Secretary. But it is worthwhile how two leaders behaved in similar situations.

In Jain Hawala Case, Advani voluntarily relinquished public office when he was charged about corruption based entirely on a diary entry till he was cleared of the charge by the courts.

Now CBI has decided to interrogate state CPI(M) secretary Pinarayi Vijayan in Kerala’s biggest financial scam, the Rs 98 crore SNC Lavalin case. However, in Pinarayi Vijayan case CPM who behaves "holier than thou" has just made him Kerala Party Secretary third time!.

In 1996 Congress-led UDF Government got the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) to sign an agreement with a Canadian power consulting company, SNC Lavalin, for replacing and modernising the obsolete generators in three hydroelectric projects at Pallivasal, Sengulam and Panniar. Later when CPM led LDF came to power Vijayan, as the Power Minister personally lead led the renegotiation of the contract with the Canadian company. The new deal had the state Government agreeing to an additional Rs 149.15 crore for Lavalin to buy the needed equipment from suppliers—Lavalin itself manufactured no such equipment.

In the process, Pinarayi Vijayan ignored recommendations of its own power reforms expert panel headed by senior CPI(M) leader and former CITU national president E Balanandan. The Balanandan panel had underlined that Lavalin’s costs were excessive and suggested far more effective and cheaper alternatives. One was that the public sector BHEL was equipped and could take up the job at far lesser cost. (yes you heard it right CPM who swears by Public sector, Ignored the cheaper BHEL to give order to MNC SNC Lavanil

The crux of the scandal is, Vijayan, who renegotiated the arrangement with Lavalin got Lavalin to dole out a Rs 98 crore grant to set up a cancer hospital at Thalassery, home constituency of Chief Minister Nayanar, in return for firming the contract. This, however, was no legally enforceable deal, and the hospital project eventually got barely Rs 9 crore from Lavalin, which went to a private firm in Chennai, given the job of setting up the hospital building. There is still no track of where the remaining money went, if at all it did come, and if it did not, why not.

The ultimate Irony is the  power generation had actually fallen afterwards, compared to pre-project output.