Opposition walks out of Kerala Assembly over back-door appointments

Thiruvananthapuram: The first day of the special sitting of the Kerala Assembly ended quickly on Monday after the Congress-led opposition staged a walk-out over unsatisfactory reply of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan over various back-door appointments, including in Thiruvananthapuram corporation.

Though the one-hour long Question Hour went incident free in the House, trouble began when Congress legislator P.C.Vishnunath sought leave for an adjournment motion to discuss the rampant back-door appointments made by the Vijayan government since 2016.

Last month, the issue of jobs being extended through the back door surfaced in a big way, when a letter of CPI-M Thiruvananthapuram mayor Arya Rajendran surfaced in public, wherein she requested district secretary Anavoor Nagappan for a list of prospective job hunters to the 295 temporary posts in the corporation.

“The list of jobs being made through the back door by the Vijayan government ranges from posts of dog catchers to vice-chancellors who came with recommendation letters of the party leaders. A total of 1.90 lakh back door jobs have been given leaving the Public Service Commission and the Employment Exchanges mere onlookers,” said Vishnunath.

In his reply, State Minister for Local Self Government M.B. Rajesh dismissed the charges as “routine baseless” allegations levelled by the opposition.

“This is the ploy of the Congress-led opposition to create confusion in the minds of the people and this has been happening for long. Baseless allegations are being levelled. The mayor herself has denied of ever writing such a letter and the so called recipient as alleged by those who have created this controversy says he has not received any such letter. So the whole discussion is about a letter which was neither written nor received,” said Rajesh.

Rajesh then took on the opposition when he pointed out that during their regime (2011-16), several recommendation letters written by their leaders, including Vishnunath, are in the ruling party’s possession.

Unhappy with the reply, Leader of Opposition V.D.Satheesan, then got up and alleged that the CPI(M) has its own recruitment agency which is engaged in getting these back door entries a reality.

“The letter of the mayor which surfaced in the public domain is not the work of the opposition, but has come out due to the factional feud in the CPI(M),” said Satheesan, who warned that they have got the list of the spouses of the top CPI(M) leaders who have got jobs through the back door.

This statement led to a verbal duel and when a few ministers got up to reply, Satheesan did not yield resulting in a war of words between the treasury and the opposition MLAs.

Soon the situation became tense and Speaker A.M.Shamseer’s attempt to control the situation failed, leaving him with no option but to run through the listed business of the house for Monday and adjourn the House for the day.

-IANS

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