Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan Sunday slammed Additional Chief Secretary T Balakrishnan,who enjoys the backing of rival Pinarayi faction of CPM,for saying he felt bad that as Industries Secretary he could not save Coca-Colas bottling plant in the state from closure.
Certain bureaucrats can not stomach the government stand on environmental pollution. They are still vomiting the plans of the last Congress government.That is why such bureaucrats are ruing over the closure of Coca-Cola plant. The government is against using genetically-modified seeds,but some officials are overenthusiastic about these seeds, Achuthanandan said without naming Balakrishnan. Coke has ravaged the nature at Plachimada (where its now defunct unit was located) forever. Kerala does not want development that destroys environment.
The comments,however,wont bother Balakrishnan much. About two weeks ago,the Cabinet pulled him up for the inappropriate comments,but Industries Minister Elamaram Kareem,a strongman of the Pinarayi faction,quickly came to his defence.
The bottling plant was shut down after a panel headed by Additional Chief Secretary K Jayakumar recomended that Coca-Cola be made to pay Rs 216 crore as compensation for damaging soil and society.
This is not the first time Balakrishnan has landed in trouble with the government. In 2008,he came under fire for dubbing its much-touted land reforms Act as outdated.