CPI secretary Kanam Rajendran on Friday once again expressed his displeasure over Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan sending an ordinance to Governor Arif Mohammed Khan seeking amendment of Kerala Lokayukta Act thus diluting the powers of the anti-corruption body.
CPI is the second biggest ally of the ruling Left government in Kerala.
On being asked as to why did the four CPI ministers not raise any objection when the matter came up in the cabinet, Rajendran said: “You have to ask them,” in a clear expression of his displeasure. Reiterating that there was no political discussions on this, he said he failed to understand the reason for the undue haste in coming out with an Ordinance, when the budget session of the Assembly is just round the corner.
Incidentally, the important development was taken at an online cabinet meeting which Vijayan presided over from his hospital bed in the US on January 19.
On Tuesday, former Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala brought to people’s notice the new Ordinance which is now with Khan. Vijayan, who had issued a list of decisions which the January 19th cabinet meeting had taken, had made no mention of this important decision.
Leader of Opposition V.D.Satheesan on Friday asked CPI-M state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan to first convince his CPI counterpart Kanam Rajendran.
“There was an article of Balakrishnan on the tweaking in their party organ which was published on Friday. First let him convince Rajendran, who has by now expressed his mind on this tweaking. It’s very clear now that this sudden rushing through of this Ordinance is to save his own skin, as the Lokayukta is hearing a petition against him on the way the Chief Minister’s Dearness Relief Fund was handled and also another petition against his cabinet colleague R.Bindhu,” said Satheesan to the media here on Friday.
On Thursday, the top leaders of the Congress-led Opposition called on Khan and told him that taking into the interest of the state and public at large, they requested him to abstain from providing his assent to the Kerala Lokayukta (amendment) ordinance 2021.
In 2021 April, soon after the Assembly elections, the Kerala Lokayukta ruled that the then State Higher Education Minister K.T. Jaleel had violated his oath of office and had appointed his relative following which Jaleel had to quit and this is what the Vijayan government fears in the light of two cases before the Lokayukta.
Meanwhile, the otherwise media friendly Khan who has been regularly meeting, especially in the past few weeks when he had a feud with the Vijayan government on the re-appointment of the Kannur vice chancellor and even went to the extent of relinquishing the post of chancellor, is tight lipped on the issue.
And now all eyes are on Vijayan who returns in the wee hours of Saturday from the US, where he has been under treatment for an undisclosed ailment.