The Congress, if comes to power after the next year's assembly polls, will not scrap the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB), the financial institution at the centre of a raging controversy, KPCC general secretary Mathew Kuzhalnadan said.
Kuzhalnadan, who is leading a legal battle in the Kerala High Court against some alleged unconstitutionality in the functioning of the KIIFB, however, made it clear that the Congress will not continue with the present shape and modalities of the fund-raising body.
In an interview with Onmanorama, Kuzhalnadan said KIIFB will put the state into a deep financial crisis in the near future. “The KIIFB is nothing but an instrument which is going to put the state into deep trouble. From 2023 onwards, economically it will be suffocating the state to move forward.”
He said Finance Minister Thomas Isaac has been successful in creating an impression that KIIFB is the only panacea for all the problems faced by Kerala.
Kuzhalnadan, however, said he does not want the case he has taken up in the High Court to be the death knell of KIIFB.
“If Congress comes to power, we are not going to continue with KIIFB in the present shape and the present mode. We will not approve to go on with the present modalities of the functioning of KIIFB. That doesn't mean that we are going to do away with the KIIFB as such. There are obligations that any continuing government will have to uphold. We cannot shoulder out the existing responsibilities,” he said.
Kuzhalnadan said he was raising only two critical questions regarding the financial body. “One, we want to know whether the state has provided a sovereign guarantee to the masala bonds raised outside the country. If they have done it, it's unconstitutional. If they haven't, well, there is no case on that point. Second, the government claims that the functioning of KIIFB is transparent and without any corruption. Then why are they resisting proper auditing of it by the CAG,” he asked.
The Congress leader rubbished Isaac's allegation that he was being a tool in the hands of the RSS which has hatched a controversy to destroy KIIFB.
“I have read about RSS. I have seen RSS programmes and their leaders. I used to participate in some TV discussions along with some of them. Beyond that, I have no connection with the RSS or BJP in my time. That's the truth,” he said. He said he knew his client, Renjith Karthikeyan, who has filed the petition in the High Court, only as a chartered accountant who had reasonable knowledge of finance.
“As a lawyer, I don't look at a client's caste, religion, or political affiliation. I'm perfectly justified in taking up the brief. Only a couple of days back that I came to know that Renjith is an office-bearer of Swadeshi Jagran Manch, a Sangh Parivar outfit,” Kuzhalnadan said.