CPM sings diverse tunes over Temple trove, palace land
By Mathew A Thomas | ENS | Published: 19th November 2012 09:28 AM |
In sharp contrast to its stance regarding suggested control over the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple treasure trove by the Travancore royal family, not many CPM leaders in Kerala have objected to the state government handing over its control over Halcyon Castle, also known as Kovalam Palace, to a private entrepreneur.
The RP Group, owner of the Leela Raviz Hotel nearby, has been trying to get control over 4.31 hectares in which Kovalam Palace is situated, on a 99-year lease.
Though the matter is before the court, attempts are currently on to reach an out-of-court settlement.
When Express tried to probe whether the presence of the children of two of the tallest leaders of the state CPM in the RP Group of Companies — one ongoing and another in the recent past — had anything to do with this hands-off approach, the response from both the politburo members was varied — one was brusque, while the other casual.
Veena T, the only daughter of CPM state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, is currently the CEO of Thiruvananthapuram Technopark based RP Techsoft International Pvt Ltd. Bineesh Kodiyeri, son of CPM politburo member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, was till recently the vice-president of the RP Group in India.
Veena, a software engineer, was serving in a relatively junior post at Oracle in Bangalore, when the CEO post of RP Techsoft opened up for her.
Bineesh, who has got himself mired in a number of controversies while the LDF government was in power, had shifted base to the Gulf region, even as he was holding the post of vice-president, India, of the RP Group. With very little claim to management skills, Bineesh could not have climbed the corporate ladder on his own steam.
Pinarayi Vijayan brushed aside any suggestion that there was something untoward in the CEO posting of his daughter.
“Have you checked where she had worked before? I hope you are aware that Oracle is a multinational company. In that case, won’t you agree that she has the requisite qualification to take up the present assignment,” he asked.
Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, on the other hand, did not attribute much importance to the corporate job that came his son’s way.
“Bineesh is not in the RP Group now. He had left it nearly a year ago. He has a penchant for acting in films. For the past six months, he has been in Mumbai where he is closely associated with a film.
“Bineesh had completed his LLB before taking up a job. He joined the RP Group, but lost interest soon. He does not stick on to a job for long,” Kodiyeri said.
This has not deterred their ally CPI to deflect from its consistent stance against handing over the government property on lease.
“Ravi Pillai is the nephew of K C Pillai, late assistant secretary of our party. But that will not prompt us to support any move to snatch the assets of the state, worth Rs 1,000 crore,” said Pannyan Raveendran, whose son is working in Dubai on modest wages in a small company. “It is only adequate for him to make ends meet. Many had approached me with plum job offers for him, which I turned down,” he added.
Ravi Pillai, the managing director of Nasser S Al-Hajri Corp and chairman of the RP Group of Companies, refused to comment saying the matter was sub judice.
“Since the matter is sub-judice, it may not be appropriate to make any comment at this juncture on any matter related to Halcyon,” he said, in response to a mailed questionnaire.