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CPI(M) expels M.P. Parameswaran

By Our Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, FEB. 15. M.P. Parameswaran, one of the founder-leaders of the Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad (KSSP), has been expelled from the Communist Party of India (Marxist) for his "open rejection of Marxism-Leninism and the fundamental tenets of the party."

A communiqué issued at the end of the three-day meeting of the CPI(M) State committee here today said the committee had decided to expel Dr. Parameswaran as his reply to the State secretariat's notice on the subject was unsatisfactory. Dr. Parameswaran had committed serious breach of discipline and forfeited his right to continue as a member of the party by adopting a stand that was at variance with the accepted principles of the CPI(M), the communiqué said.

The CPI(M) State committee meeting, attended by the party general secretary, Harkishan Singh Surjeet, and several Polit Bureau members, has firmly rejected the allegation that the People's Plan Campaign, implemented by the 1996-2001 Left Democratic Front Government, had its origins on the drawing boards of the World Bank and that it did not have clear class or political perspective. It has also rejected the position that decentralisation of powers is a panacea for globalisation and called upon party members to remain vigilant against the `anti-Marxist' campaign for party-less participatory democracy at the grassroots.

Clarifying the party's stand on acceptance of foreign funds, which has become a major subject of debate within and outside the party in recent months, the communiqué said an examination of the relevant facts had not revealed `anything unusual' in the acceptance of Rs. 10.5 crores by the Government-run Kerala Institute of Local Administration (KILA) as assistance from the Swiss Government. It, however, conceded that the failure [of the persons concerned] to raise the issue within the party and evolve a consensus on it had led to confusion. The question of any foreign assistance should be communicated to the party and appropriate decisions taken, it said.

Given the resource crunch being experienced by them on account of the policies being pursued by the Central Government, it would be imperative for State Governments to accept assistance from multilateral financial institutions and foreign governments. However, any assistance that is accompanied by conditions that go against the interests of the country and the people or which seek structural reforms that suit the globalisation process should not be accepted. The communiqué said there was no basis for the allegation that the LDF Government had accepted such assistance. When governments in which the party has a role are forced to accept such funds, the party members concerned should apprise the party of the matter and evolve clarity through discussions, the communiqué said.

The State committee, however, took a stronger view of the manner in which the KSSP had availed itself of Dutch assistance through the Centre for Development Studies (CDS) for one of its projects related to democratic decentralisation. The communiqué pointed out that though it could technically be said that it had received the funds from the CDS-approved research project, the failure of Parishad members to draw the party's attention to receipt of the assistance had led to confusion. Pointing out that every member of the party was bound to abide by the guidelines on acceptance of foreign funds, adopted by the party in 1995, it called upon party members working in mass organisations to oppose all types of foreign funding.

Briefing reporters about the deliberations of the party State committee, the CPI(M) State secretary, Pinarayi Vijayan, said the committee did not propose to initiate action against anyone other than Dr. Parameswaran. Replying to questions, he made it clear that the party had examined all the relevant facts, but could not find any external assistance for the Mararikkulam project being implemented under the leadership of the party secretariat member, T.M. Thomas Isaac, MLA. The project, to its knowledge, was being funded under a Central Government scheme, Mr. Vijayan added.

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