Thiruvananthapuram: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan rejected the charges of nepotism against Higher Education Minister K T Jaleel, who allegedly favoured kin K T Adeeb for the post of Kerala State Minorities Development Finance Corporation (KSMDFC) general manager and said there was no need for him to resign.
“No rules or conventions were violated in the appointment of K T Adeeb to the post of general manager in Kerala State Minorities Development Finance Corporation,” the chief minister said while responding to the adjournment motion moved in the assembly on Tuesday.
The Congress initially staged a symbolic walkout after the speaker refused permission to allow the adjournment motion. But a few minutes later, when tempers flared after the UDF members moved to the well of the House and raised slogans provoking the ruling members, opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala declared that the UDF was boycotting the House for the day. He charged Cooperation Minister Kadakampally Surendran with instigating the LDF members to take on the UDF.
The three allegations
Moving the adjournment motion, Congress MLA K Muraleedharan raised three main charges. One, the minister tweaked the qualification for the post of KSMDFC general manger. He said the original qualifications were MBA (preferably a specialisation in marketing and finance), company secretary, chartered accountant and Industrial Cost and Works Account (ICWA). To this were added BTech and post-graduate diploma in business administration.
Muraleedharan's second charge was that the changes were made keeping the cabinet in the dark. “The secretary in charge had noted on the file that the issue should be sent to the cabinet for consideration. But the minister replied that inclusion of additional qualifications does not require the cabinet approval, and he took the file directly to the chief minister and got it approved,” Muraleedharan said. Interestingly, the Congress leader added that the bureaucrat (social justice secretary Shahjahan) who wanted the file to be perused by the cabinet inserted a sentence in the order saying it was issued on the instructions of the minister.
The third charge was that South Indian Bank, Adeeb's parent organisation, was not a statutory organisation. There were even court orders that said the SIB was not a statutory organisation.
Jaleel's was an emotional response that did not touch any of the points raised by Muraleedharan. “I find it hard to explain why such a false case was taken up by K Muraleedharan whose father was the victim of slander in the ISRO spy case,” Jaleel said. He also challenged the opposition to bring up any case of wrongdoing by him during his public life. The minister said his only intention was to revive a corporation that was finding it hard to stand on its feet. “The corporation had not even got RBI approval,” the minister said.
It was left to the chief minister to rebut the charges. He said it was not necessary to bring the issue of “increasing the qualification” of the general manager post to the cabinet. Later, Muslim League leader Dr M K Muneer said Jaleel had misled the chief minister. “The qualification was not upgraded but downgraded. From MBA, the minister made it a diploma,” Muneer said.
The chief minister also said there was nothing wrong in appointing an employee of South Indian Bank. “If we can appoint people from cooperative banks there is no reason why employees in SIB should not be,” he said. The opposition leader but countered this saying that while the cooperative banks were under government control, the SIB was not.