People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


Vol. XXXVI

No. 39

September 30, 2012

KERALA  

 

Janasri: Another Treachery Exposed

 

N S Sajith

 

MOST of the Malayalees may not be able to say who a businessman named Malik Muhammad Hassan is. But this businessmanís name can be found in the documents of the Reserve Bank of India to which he has given an affidavit regarding his shareholding in a company. Though any Indian citizen can run a business, like a financial institution, while abiding by the law of the land, this is no so here.

 

The fact is that the person mentioned here, who has been running a so called financial institution but in effect a chit fund company, has also been briefing the media in the capacity of official spokesperson of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC). And the financial institution he runs is nothing but Janasree --- a mission floated by the Congress in 2006 to scuttle the renowned Kudumbasree, an agency in which 37 lakh women participated and found their livelihood. Malik Muhammed Hassan is an expanded version of the name of Congress spokesperson in Kerala.

 

The recent revelation made by a section of the media in Kerala has created ripples both in public discourse and in political dialogue, especially among the Congress leaders. The revelation is that the KPCC spokesperson, M M Hassan, owns shares of the Janasree mission worth Rs 19.44 lakh. The issue came to the fore after the state government awarded five projects to the mission, with funds totalling over Rs 14 crore. This fact was accepted in an affidavit he had submitted to the Reserve Bank --- an affidavit that has been made public.

 

Let us recall that the very conduct of Janasree Susthira Vikasana Mission had been mired in controversy. The main allegation was it is running like the private property of Hassan who resorts to manipulations to get the central governmentís funds for various projects under the banner of Janasree. On September 19, the agriculture production commissioner Subrato Biswas issued a government order stating that the Jansree mission had been awarded five projects --- three related to agriculture and two related to animal husbandry --- carrying funds totalling Rs 14.36 crore. The amount was sanctioned after the state level committee of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) had on May 19 given administrative sanction for the release of funds.

 

This invited widespread criticism. CPI(M) state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan alleged that the central governmentís project under RKVY funding was originally meant for the governmentís Kudumbasree mission but that the fund was diverted to the Congress partyís Janasree mission.

 

Former finance minister T M Thomas Isaac said that Hassan had committed a serious financial irregularity. After collecting the requisite papers on Hassanís shares, he would file a complaint with the SEBI, he said.