New Delhi : Questioning the decision of its Malayalam mouthpiece Deshabhimani to get financial support from a person of "dubious" reputation, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary has urged party publications to work within the framework of communist ideology and principles.
"Whatever be the compulsions of the market and the requirements for capital, the Deshabhimani cannot become like the bourgeois media or a corporate newspaper," Karat said in an article in the latest 'People's Democracy', a CPI-M mouthpiece.
"It will be a newspaper which works within the framework of the ideology and principles of a communist party which represents the working people," he said referring to the embarrassing revelation that party organ Deshabhimani had accepted Rs.200 million as donation from the lottery tycoon Santiago Martin.
Though he noted that the money was not a "donation" but a deposit for newspaper advertisements, Karat said: "Why should Deshabhimani have to get financial support from a person whose reputation is dubious?"
Karat reminded party workers that the CPI-M had in the past returned a cheque of Rs.900,000 sent by a Tata Trust, which had contributed funds to all political parties.
The party general secretary also took strong exception to Deshabhimani deputy manager K. Venugopal's move to accept bribe from another tainted businessman in the state.
"More disturbing for the party has been the episode of corruption by a managerial functionary in the newspaper. The fact that this person who was entrusted with an important responsibility by the party could ask for a bribe and receive Rs.100 million to get a government decision in favour of the persons concerned is cause for alarm," Karat said.
"This regrettable incident needs to be taken with the utmost seriousness," he noted.
"This bribe-taking episode should be a warning for the entire party to be vigilant and to firmly deal with any violation of communist norms or corrupt practices," he asserted.
While the state unit of the CPI-M has decided to return Rs.200 million to the lottery king, it has expelled Venugopal from the party.