Kochi, Aug 31: CPI-M leaders in Kerala have gone into damage control mode after the latest expose by Wikileaks revealed how its top leaders in Kerala met US officials in August 2008 to woo foreign investment to the state, reports Times of India.
Former finance minister Dr Thomas Isaac, known to be close to the faction led by state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, said there was nothing "ideologically" wrong in meeting the US officials, former chief minister V S Achuthanandan claimed he had used the meeting to lecture the US officials on their country's "intimidating" policies.
Issac, confirming that he along with Vijayan and CPM central committee member M A Baby, had met the US political counsellor in Thiruvananthapuram, said, "Many believe that we are against all kind of foreign investments. But this is not true.
Even in the revised party programme, it is said that after the people's revolution, foreign investments can be allowed to acquire technological excellence and for increasing productivity.
Foreign investments should be regulated and used for the country's benefit.''
The Cables quoting US officials had said that they had met CPM leaders from Kerala in two installments.
Achuthanandan opted out of the first meet citing medical reasons but met them subsequently.
An American diplomat was also quoted as saying that Vijayan, during the meeting, had termed the long-drawn agitation against the Coca Cola bottling plant in Plachimada in Palakkad district as a "local problem, an environmental issue."
However, Baby who spoke to TOI from Oman, said, "An agitation of this sort should not come in the way of investment that will benefit the state. That must have been the spirit in which Vijayan made his remarks."
Meanwhile, state planning board member C P John said it exposed the CPM's double talk.
"The controversy shows the dishonesty in their words and deeds. They tell one thing to the public and do something else. It is not wrong to invite FDI, but why are they reluctant to admit their stand," he exclaimed.
The CPM's official faction claimed that the whole Wikileaks expose was a case of lost in translation, with the concerned US officials, who reported back to their bosses in Washington, failing to grasp the nuances of what the CPM leaders had actually sought in the meetings.
While Dr Thomas Isaac, known to be close to the official faction in the party led by state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, said that there was nothing "ideologically" wrong in meeting the US officials, V S Achuthanandan claimed he had used the meeting to lecture the US officials on their country's "intimidating" policies.