Thiruvananthapuram: As Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has defended the appointment of neo-liberal market economist Gita Gopinath as his financial advisor, the CPM state and central leadership are still clueless about what role she would play in the state. Leading left economist Prabhat Patnaik has cautioned the LDF Government against getting trapped into Modi brand of development discourse. His words need to be read in the context of Gita Gopinath’s praise for Narendra Modi’s neo liberal policies. Not only that she wants the Modi Government to push hard for big bang reforms.
“Kerala is not a state where you can do anything, where some advisor comes and advises something,” Patnaik told a regional news channel, indirectly referring to the controversy surrounding Gopinath’s appointment in the Left ruled state. The former state planning board vice chairman emphasised that Modi’s development discourse was anti people. “If the Left also feels development meaning the same thing as Modi does, then I think the Left would not be able to lead an alternative,” Patnaik added. But the chief minister believes that Gopinath who is one of the top economists of the world with roots in Kerala, would provide a perspective on international economy.
A section of Left leaders say there is no harm in seeking a diverse opinion on world economy. Moreover, it is also felt that the presence of Gita Gopinath would also send across a positive signal to potential big investors globally. This is in the context of state’s move to go for big borrowings for infrastructure and development projects. Meanwhile, the central leadership is likely to seek a clarification from the state govt on Gopinath’s appointment in the wake of the controversy.
It may be recalled that the draft political resolution passed at the CPM party Congress in Vishakhapatnam last year had hit out at neo liberal policies, “the neo liberal grwth trajectory had entered into a phase of serious crisis and the initial expectations that countries like India would be able to escape the prologed crisis of global capitalism have been belied.” The party had also attacked the Modi Government for aggressively pursuing neo liberal policies. With the controversy now gaining steam, the party leadership will have to come out with a convincing explanation on the need to have Gopinath on board.