Protests against the backdoor appointments in Kerala refuse to tone down, especially with the special cabinet session having made no decision towards the protestors. The rank holders, currently protesting in front of the Thiruvananthapuram Secretariat have taken to kneeling on the road and walking on all fours, a symbolic gesture of begging the government to consider their situation. During the intense agitation, many of the protestors succumbed to the intense heat, and reportedly, a few had to be a taken to the hospital for treatment. The protest by the rank holders remain peaceful, claiming that contrary to what the LDF leaders claim, their “protests are not political, but a fight for their livelihood”.
Meanwhile, youth organisations have taken a more violent route in front of the Kozhikode collectorate. The police reacted with lathi charge and water cannons, and yet the protestors refused to budge from the spot. Meanwhile, a few others have moved to the Wayanad National Highway and have blocked the road, creating a heavy traffic block there. While the police have detained many, it seems as if the situation remains uncontrolled.
All of this follows the cabinet meeting today, in which, the ministers, reportedly, did not discuss extending the current PSC rank list, including that of the Civil Police Officer list. The Last Grade Servants and Civil Police Officers rank holders had been protesting for the past 19 days, and they had put forward many demands in front of the government. Of the many demands, three of them had been given the highest priority: speed up the creation of new posts, extend the rank list by another six months, and create more posts by promotion and tweaking the working hours.
The cabinet, however, did not reportedly discuss any of those. Instead, they have instructed the officers to take stock of the vacancies in each department and to ensure that the backdoor appointments and regularisation are not to posts already earmarked by PSC. Moreover, the government has approved the regularisation of more than 100 employees in their latest meeting. The government has also come out with complicated numbers that have confused the protestors. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in an earlier press conference claimed that they could employ at the most 25,000 people per year. Meanwhile, he added that the LDF government had employed 151,511 people in the last 4 and three quarters of a year. If we are to take an average, it would be around a minimum of 30,000 per year, and these numbers don’t agree with the claims.
Regardless of the emotional scenes in front of the Secretariat, the government remains apathetic to the conditions. Finance Minister Thomas Isaac claims that many of their demands are unreasonable, even as the government has approved backdoor appointments in many departments that haven’t been handed over to PSC. Many other CPM leaders, including convenor A Vijayaraghavan, have claimed that the protestors are political elements, posted by the UDF for electoral gains. This is despite the left organising a similar protest against the Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal, alleging her of backdoor appointments. Meanwhile, CPI and All India Youth Federation (AIYF) have asked the government to hold talks with the protestors to explain the situation and close the communication gap. The CPI had warned the CPM that such a movement could gain massive momentum if proper communication was not established.