The CPI (M) has come out strongly against launching of Janasree programme by the Congress-led Union Government. Local Administration Minister Paloli Mohamedkutty has alleged that it would undermine the Kudumbasree programme and create financial anarchy in the microfinance sector.
However, the real reasons for the strident criticism by the Minister are different. The Congress is planning to use the programme to fund non-government organisations and use it for leverage in the coming Lok Sabha elections. There is little doubt that the funds would mostly go to the supporters of the party.
It is, however, to be noted that Congress is trying to emulate the CPI (M) in its own way. The CPI (M) has built up a financial empire consisting of cooperative and other institutions in the control of the party. Employment in those institutions was used to win and reward supporters. Huge sums were raised for business including Government subsidies.
If the trend catches on, political parties of all hues would soon be running financial empires. No doubt that they would eventually assume mafia characteristics. We know that politicians also behind all the so-called land mafia deals in the State.
The trend does not augur well for democracy. The non-political, ordinary people will be exploited by those politico-financial empires. People will be forced to buy services from them as is already happening in the State. If in doubt, just look at the way the land prices have gone up in the State. The political mafia is expanding its grip over land, after gaining control of public sector units and other institutions. Soon, they will do the same in other sectors including micro finance. The communal mafia is also pitching for their share in the cake.