Left sniffs Coke fizz in Tarun Das Kerala panel membership

Written by M Sarita Varma | Thiruvananthapuram | Updated: Aug 12 2011, 06:38am hrs
Former chief mentor of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) Tarun Dass appointment as the Kerala Planning Board member has raised eyebrows in the Left camp. It is his membership of the international advisory board of The Coca-Cola Company, USA, that has rubbed Keralas 87-year-old Opposition leader VS Achuthanandan the wrong way.

The new Planning Board member is reported to be an adviser to Coca-Cola, said Achuthanandan, adding this smacked of an unholy nexus between the water-depleting MNCs and the Congress-led UDF government. Achuthanandan had been on a collision course with the cola giant during his tenure in the state government.

Delhi Metro managing director E Sreedharan and Tarun Das, who has served his distinguished innings in CII, are the best names in their fields that Keralas Planning Board can get. My only need is to get the (development planning) work done effectively. So long as it is done, I am hardly worried about what the Oppositions opinion about the members is, said chief minister Oommen Chandy in response to Achuthanandans comment.

Besides Das and Sreedharan, G Vijayaraghaan, the founder-CEO of Technopark, has also been named for the board. Chandy, who is the board chairman, told FE that few more planning and industry experts would be inducted soon.

Former cabinet secretary KM Chandrasekhar is the vice-chairman of the board. It was he who sought out experts like Sreedharan and Tarun Das for his team.