Hycinth, a five-star hotel in Trivandrum, is all set to host the CPI(M) Central Committee that is scheduled to be held from January 6-January 8. This action has brought the ruling party of Kerala under the scanner as it is drastically contradictory to the abstinent attitude that the party has maintained throughout on lavish spending. The hotel is reportedly located at a distance of 3 km from AKG Centre, the party headquarters.
Such a step from a party which claims to be the common man’s party has raised many speculations among the public as well as the Opposition parties on the principles they follow.
Opposition Minister Ramesh Chennithala took to his official page on Facebook and posted a comment criticising the CPI-M’s decision to host the committee in a five-star hotel. In his comment, he has thrashed the party for deviating from its duties and for giving priority to the committee members’ comfort when it came to booking rooms for the meeting. He added that the party should not lose its standard at least on such petty matters and must remember the promises made to the common man.
The CPI (M) State Committee members were reluctant to comment on the issue. However, Health and Social Welfare Minister K.K. Shylaja is of the opinion that there is nothing wrong in the decision that party has taken and it was inconvenient for all the members attending the committee to stay at AKG Centre.
“I believe the party might have surely calculated the cost that would be incurred if the committee is hosted at Hycinth and, therefore, might have thought that it was more economical,” she said.
When asked about the room rent at the five-star hotel, the Minister added she was unaware of all that. The decision, however, has received mass criticism from the Opposition parties who are of the opinion that the ruling party, despite highlighting and lamenting about the adverse effects of demonetisation, has itself ruled out the distress caused by spending lavishly on a committee.
Commenting on the issue, AAP State head C.R. Neelakantan says, “The CPI(M) government should at least use their common sense and think that this is a crucial time for them and try to stick to the image they have portrayed. Their blunt excuses about booking rooms at discounted rates and claiming to get the function organised at much cheaper rates are just a eyewash and the public is intelligent enough to understand that.”
The major topics of discussion at the committee are said to be the national political scenario, Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, and the impact of demonetisation on the economy. A public meeting has also been scheduled to take place at Putharikandam Grounds on January 7 so that the Central Committee members will be able to attend the same. The party has also organised a parade with over 50,000 workers from various parts of the district taking part in it. The Politburo meeting is scheduled to be held at the party headquarters on January 8.
Major CPI (M) national leaders including General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, Prakash Karat, Brinda Karat, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will take part in the Committee, along with other State and national leaders.
The Kochi Post also contacted the sales department of the five-star hotel Hycinth that would be hosting the Committee. Sunil, head of the department, said that a special team has been constituted to handle the CPI(M) Central Committee and that the booking details, the number of rooms booked, the rates at which the rooms have been fixed, etc. were not available with them.
NDTV, however, in a story published regarding the same has mentioned that 50 of the hotel’s 100 rooms have been booked and that the party informed that they received the rooms worth Rs. 7,000-Rs. 15,000 at a tariff of Rs. 1,500 to Rs. 2,000, with free food and banquet facilities.
Main photograph by Pratheesh Prakash via Flickr.