The State Secretariat of the CPI(M) has backed Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, endorsing his views on the raid at the branches of Kerala State Financial Enterprises (KSFE) Limited. Pinarayi had dismissed conspiracy theories within the CPI(M) over the raid conducted at a state-run financial institution by Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB), the anti-corruption wing under the Home Department. The Home portfolio also is under the CM while the KSFE, a non-banking firm is under the Finance Department. The VACB allegedly found irregularities in the conduct of KSFE chitties.
The VACB on Saturday raided 40 branches of KSFE after its internal intelligence wing allegedly detected anomalies in handling chitty deposits. By backing Pinarayi at the Secretariat meeting held on Tuesday, the party rejected the stand of Finance Minister Thomas Isaac on the issue. Isaac and another senior leader of the party Anathalavattom Anandan alleged that the raid was to serve private chit firms and to elbow out the KSFE.
Isaac had slammed the raids saying that the VACB can’t set the law or arbitrate on what is right or wrong. Pinarayi, however, rejected it saying that the raid was a routine inspection. The Secretariat pulled up Isaac and Anathalavattom Anandan for making public remarks about the raid while backing the version of that of Pinarayi. The latter holds an undisputed dominance in the party.
"A few responses about the vigilance inspection have led to misinterpretation and negative campaigning. Such remarks should have been avoided," said a statement issued post the Secretariat meeting. Isaac, however, said that he should have been informed about the meeting.
Meanwhile two ministers have also publicly endorsed the CM's position on the issue. Minister for Public Works G Sudhakaran said that the VACB wasn’t required to inform ministers about the surprise inspections. Industries Minister EP Jayarajan said that the CM's word is final and it was not a raid but a routine inspection.