Universities in Kerala turning into party offices, alleges Congress

The Congress on Wednesday slammed Kerala’s Pinarayi Vijayan government for turning universities in the state into “party offices”.

Leader of Opposition V.D. Satheesan, raising this issue in the Assembly, said while universities should be centres of excellence, they have sadly now become a haven for back-door appointments of the kith and kin of (Left) “party leaders”.

“The scene is that every day we hear of back door appointments of the kith and kin of party leaders, resulting in merit getting nothing at all. The stage is such that these days, only those who are close to the party will get a job and Universities here are turning into party offices. Besides this, the Vice Chancellors are mere puppets,” he said.

The house also saw angry exchanges between the treasury and opposition benches when Congress legislator Roji M. John threatened to reveal the names of the wives of treasury bench legislators, who have got back door appointments.

For a while now, the appointment order given by the Kannur University to Priya Varghese, wife of the Chief Minister’s Secretary K.K. Ragesh, allegedly bypassing merit and qualifications has been discussed across platforms.

When this became news, first, Governor Arif Mohammed Khan stayed the appointment and the Kerala High Court soon followed suit.

But in the Assembly, state Higher Education Minister R. Bindhu said all mandatory rules and regulations of the UGC have been followed and the appointment is in order.

Now all eyes are on Khan, who after a brief halt in Delhi is returning to his official residence here, later in the day.

Khan has “declared war” on Kannur University Vice Chancellor Gopinath Ravindran and termed him as a political worker of the CPI-M.

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