Gita Gopinath’s appointment: VS Achuthanandan moves against LDF govt, shoots off letter

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Gita Gopinath

The appointment of Harvard University professor Gita Gopinath as financial adviser to Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan continues to trouble the LDF government, with the latest objection coming from the senior most leader in the CPM itself.

Expressing unhappiness, party veteran V.S. Achuthanandan shot off a letter to CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury, saying that Gopinath’s economic policies are against the party stance.

“There is mystery in appointing Gita Gopinath, an advocate of neo­liberal economic policies, as the financial adviser,” VS reportedly wrote in the letter and demanded that the party’s national leadership should interfere in the matter.

Sources within CPM had the other day alleged that appointing Gopinath as the adviser was a decision of CM Pinarayi and that the party leaderships in state and center were not in the know. However, CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has said the appointment has been approved by the state unit of the party.

Kodiyeri told the media Thursday that the appointment of Gopinath was discussed at the state party level and the state secretariat had cleared it also.

“Just because she has been appointed the adviser, it does not mean that we will take all what she says. She will only give her advice,” said Kodiyeri.

Marxist economist Prabhat Patnaik had also criticized the appointment of Gopinath and said that the ‘LDF government should not fall into the trap of new economic development strategies’. Amid the controversy, Gopinath had said that she was ‘honored’ and ‘humbled’ and expressed hope of contributing toward further developing sustainable policies for Kerala.

Expressing surprise at the appointment of Gopinath, opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala had said that people of Kerala would like to know why development economist and finance minister Thomas Isaac was being ignored.

The appointment of Gita Gopinath was confirmed earlier this week after the 38­year­old economist said that her position is just honorary and she is not moving to Kerala and will not be involved in economic policy decisions.

 

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