Congress, BJP slam Kerala CM over IAS, vigilance row

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 10 (IANS) The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday slammed Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan over the way he has handled the on-going row between the Inian Administrative Service (IAS) officers and vigilance chief Jacob Thomas.

Addressing reporters here, Congress’ Ramesh Chennithala said Vijayan was behaving like the CPI-M Secretary and not the Chief Minister.

He questioned if Vijayan was using Thomas as a tool to silence the bureaucracy in the state.

“Thomas has a special set of rules for those close to Vijayan while former ministers are being treated differently,” Chennithala said.

IAS officers are up in arms against Vigilance Director Thomas and accuse him of misusing his power and implicating some officers in false cases.

Trouble began when the vigilance department conducted searches at the houses of two senior officers, K.M. Abraham and Tom Jose, in October last year in connection with a nepotism case.

The two officers wrote to Vijayan, alleging that Thomas was harassing them. Thomas, in turn, alleged that his phones were being tapped and also sought Jose’s suspension.

State BJP President Kummanem Rajasekheran alleged that when IAS officials went to complain to Vijayan about Thomas, the Chief Minister treated them with disdain and chased them away.

“A chief minister should never resort to threats, when he is approached. The governance has been seriously affected as Kerala is in totters,” Rajasekheran said.