February 29, 2020
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The Red Book, Updated And Abridged

The Red Book, Updated And Abridged
More on the Left-ADB conundrum—facts that prove the Left is right only when it itself turns Right. The A.K. Antony government has been crying foul over the LDF’s hypocrisy in protesting against its decision to process a financial package from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Documents released by the state government reveal it was the former LDF government which had first asked for ADB assistance. On August 17, 1998, then CM, E.K. Nayanar, had written to Union finance minister Yashwant Sinha, requesting that Kerala be selected for the ADB aid programme.

This was followed up by a concept paper from the Nayanar dispensation in which it spelt out the reforms it would initiate to make the state ADB-compatible. These included clean-up of the public sector through "privatisation and mergers", "closure of units difficult to restructure", "identification of surplus staff for VRS", and power and transport sector reforms. Interestingly, the Nayanar government had also offered to downsize itself! The fulfilment of all these promises has now become Antony’s burden, and he has set to action in his right-earnest fashion. But surprisingly, the LDF has seized the opportunity to direct its rhetoric at the UDF government, accusing Antony of selling out to the ADB. A clear case of Left’s rhetoric having outlived its ideology!

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