The Comptroller and Auditor General, Kerala, has found some irregularities in the missing of 25 Insas (Indian Small Arms System) rifles and 12,000 odd live cartridges from the Kerala police. Based only on media reports one George filed a public interest litigation in the Kerala High Court. The court immediately dismissed the petition, but on Thursday in another case the same court asked the Kerala government to file all papers and action taken on the CAG report to be submitted to the court. The missing weapons should have gone to anti-national elements was the petitioner’s argument.
The CAG report was criticised by Vishwas Mehta ,Additional Chief Secretary, Home and Vigilance. He had acted on Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s directions given on Tuesday. Within one day he gave a report giving a clean chit to the police regarding audit of CAG that vehicles were purchased for use by a senior officer ignoring operational needs of the police station and the vehicles had been allotted to units on the highway patrol. In short, Mehta said the CAG findings were incorrect. Kerala police officer Tomin Thachankary held a press conference showing that all rifles were in the custody of the police. Thachankary also said that the police would question the CAG officers on how the CAG reached the conclusion that the weapons were missing.
Seizing the opportunity, the BJP has sought a central probe in the CAG report and alleged corruption in the purchase of vehicles and electronic equipment for the police department. Ramesh Chennithala and KPCC president Mullapally Ramachandran had also said the same thing. The matter is a serious issue which will come to the fore when the HC is given details of the two issues. And thereby hangs a tale. Whether the CAG or the Home secretary was correct will soon come out. Opinions differ on it.
It looks like very serious trouble is in store for the CPM and chief minister Pinarayi. CPM being the ruling party, Pinarayi is expected to follow the party's ideas and concepts but Pinarayi has not cared to follow that it is alleged. State secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan , being the apparatchik of the party, is supposed to guide him; like Kerala Khrushchev, Govindan Nair, did as party secretary when the EMS ministry was formed.
The event could be compared to the CAG report during Manmohan Singh's tenure as prime minister which led to the Congress losing its power with a major fall in the number of seats and union minister Raja being arrested. Raja was a representative of the DMK. The blow for the Congress is something that it will never forget nor will the DMK. Will the CPM face the same situation?
The CPM having been thrown out of West Bengal and Tripura, is desperate to retain their Kerala hold. They will do anything that ensures their success. And Pinarayi seems to have seen the plight of the CPM and knows the CPM leadership will tolerate him. So Pinarayi has made changes in the party. For example, in the assembly by- elections and the panchayat elections which are expected soon, the CPM has to win defeating the Congress and the BJP hands down. So they have changed their stand on fundamental issues. Grapevine has it that the Kerala Congress which has split into 6 or 7 groups is likely to see Jose K. Mani joining the CPM. The voters will have a very strange alliance made by the Kerala Congress and CPM. Diehard Marxists will forget all the drama that the CPM enacted against the then Kerala Congress president, the late K M Mani
The Christian communities’ 80% votes were assured for the Congress and Kerala Congress. The CPM has been able to split them by wooing the Jacobites; The Jacobites have nothing to lose and everything to gain by this arrangement, which means Pinarayi may win the next elections.
The finding of the CAG is set to change the situation. The situation so far was in favour of the CPM but the CAG report will have very serious implications in the elections to come.
Kerala's political stand on CAA and NRC will also have a saying on Kerala politics. The CPM and the Congress are against both as all “Right” thinking Keralites. But Pinarayi counts a big risk for defying the centre’s rule on NRC..If the BJP has the guts, they can dismiss the Kerala government for not implementing the NRC. Pinarayi wilfully takes the risk; a dismissal of the government will not help the BJP; Keralites will vote whole heartedly for the CPM. The Congress will have nothing to gain. Pinarayi knows it too well. The people, including the Muslims and Christians, will forget all the wrong doings of Loknath Behera, the state police chief, who according to rumours has much to gain in the police deals. He is supposed to be the blue eyed boy of the chief minister Kerala.
Justifying the construction of villas for state police chiefs and ADGP's Mehta's report said funds sanctioned in 2013-14 for upper subordinate quarters were not used till last year. So the funds were to be lapsed. Mehta said it was decided to construct villas before the allocation period lapsed. That is a strange argument defending the construction of villas for senior police officers!
In other words, the situation is bound to raise voices against the chief minister and Loknath Behera .Will they be able to clearly refute the allegations remains to be seen. Anyway the court will decide not Chennithala or Pinarayi . And we the voters will have only words to praise or denounce them.
(The views and facts mentioned in the article are that of the author)