Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala has hit out at Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan over the Lokayukta Verdict and the Lavlin case. Chennithala has questioned Vijayan’s morale as the latter is yet to remove KT Jaleel as the state Education Minister after the Lokayukta found him guilty. “For the first time in the Lokayukta's history, a minister has been asked to resign. What is Vijayan’s moral as he is yet to expel Jaleel? The Chief Minister is protecting Jaleel,” Chennithala said.
Chennithala has accused the Vijayan of remaining silent on Jaleel's case as he is looking for loopholes. “Despite months of deliberations and a Lokayukta verdict, the Chief Minister is looking for loopholes to protect Jaleel. Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and Kanam Rajendran said that the Chief Minister would take action. So far, Vijayan has not taken any action because he is also co-accused in this. He was instrumental in changing even the educational qualifications,” Chennithala said.
The Opposition Leader also brought up the Lavalin scandal as the CM is the sixth accused in the case. “The biggest scandal in Kerala is the Lavalin scandal. The case has been adjourned several times due to political influence. Vijayan is the sixth accused in this case. He is a corrupt man himself who will do anything to protect another corrupt man,” Chennithala said, adding that the people are waiting to oust a corrupt man and corrupt government. He said that the UDF will come to power in Kerala after the counting of votes on May 2.
BJP state president K Surendran has also slammed Vijayan and Jaleel following the Lokayukta verdict. He has claimed that Jaleel is getting treatment that Minister EP Jayarajan did not receive. “Jaleel is a bridge between the UAE Consulate and the state government. He fluently speaks Arabic and has several illegal links. He has been engaged in fraudulent activities with the consulate officials for four years now,” Surendran told a leading Malayalam news channel.
Meanwhile, recent reports indicate that Vijayan also signed on the documents that downgraded the qualification. Moreover, evidence of Jaleel’s stern orders in the face of criticism from officers as well as opposition from the Minority Affairs Department has also emerged. Jaleel’s excessive interest to appoint KT Adeeb can be seen in all the files related to the latter’s appointment. The Chief Minister, who fully supported Jaleel during the controversy, approved the change of eligibility for Adeeb on Jaleel’s instructions.
A letter written by Jaleel urging Vijayan to change the eligibility for the appointment of the General Manager of the Minority Development Corporation to favour Adeeb was leaked on Saturday. Later, the officials of the department had asked Jaleel whether Cabinet approval was sought for the change of eligibility. Officials said the qualifications for the post of GM had been decided earlier by the cabinet. However, Jaleel wrote in the file that it was not necessary and left the file to the Chief Minister. The latter signed the file on August 9, 2016. It is clear from the files that the officials of the Minority Department had repeatedly questioned the appointment made beyond the conditions.
The Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Minorities wrote on September 28, 2018, that since South Indian Bank was a private bank as per RBI schedule, they couldn’t appoint anyone from there as per-existing conditions. Jaleel intervened in the matter again and clarified that an official of the Co-operative Bank had previously been appointed as the MD of the State Finance Development Corporation. The minister furnished an order on September 28, 2018, to appoint Adeeb since his parent company — South Indian Bank — had given permission. As the minister tightened his grip, the officials withdrew their protest and released Adeeb’s appointment order. The Lokayukta examined Jaleel’s involvement in the appointment file based on all the evidence above and issued a decisive order dismissing the minister.