Congress Kerala leader questions vigilance inaction in PSU appointments case

Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 16 (IANS) Leader of opposition in the Kerala assembly Ramesh Chennithala on Friday questioned the alleged inaction by the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau regarding a probe into certain appointments in state PSUs by the then minister.

The bureau had ordered a probe after the then Industries Minister E.P. Jayarajan was accused of making certain controversial appointments of relatives to key posts in Kerala public sector undertakings.

“Bureau chief Jacob Thomas has been claiming that the corrupt will be taken to task. Vijayan cabinet’s number two Jayarajan quit on nepotism charge. As per the rule, a (vigilance) report has to be filed within 42 days. It’s more than 62 days now and nothing is coming out,” the Congress leader told the media here.

“During the earlier United Democratic Front rule in Kerala, Vijayan and others used to say the Vigilance Bureau is like a caged parrot. But ever since Jayarajan has quit, the bureau is lying in the intensive care unit. Thomas now has to act,” Chennithala said.

The Leader of Opposition said that governance had come to a standstill in Kerala since Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has gone into a slumber.

“Governance in Kerala has come to nought. Two IAS officers of Additional Chief Secretary rank — Finance Secretary K.M. Abraham and Labour Secretary Tom Jose — are engaged in a bitter standoff with bureau chief Thomas, who holds the rank of Director General of Police, and writing against each other to Vijayan,” Chennithala said.

He said such a situation had never arisen in the coastal state before.

Thomas had initiated vigilance probes against the two IAS officers while the Finance Secretary is going ahead with a financial probe by his officials against Thomas during his posting in state departments prior to the Vigilance Bureau tenure.

“Thomas sought Jose’s suspension in two cases but Chief Secretary S.M. Vijayanand gave a clean chit to him. These officials are using government machinery… while all this is happening, Vijayan is in deep slumber. Governance has come to a standstill,” said Chennithala.

Last week, Abraham got a reprieve when a local court gave him a clean chit in a case filed by the Vigilance Bureau.