Ahead of a cabinet meeting to approve the backdoor appointments in Kerala, the PSC protestors have decided to strengthen their movement. The Last Grade Servant rank holders have decided to hold a fasting protest from February 22 onwards if the government continues to refuse to budge on their main demands. Meanwhile, the government had asked Secretariat employees to come to work on a Sunday to speed up the files necessary for tomorrow’s approval.
As the protests picked up pace in the last few days, the government had tried to hold talks with the organisers. The Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) played the middleman in three rounds of midnight talks, which didn’t lead anywhere. Among the demands placed by the protestors, the government agreed on three things — report unfulfilled vacancies for the LGS posts in various departments, conduct appointment to promotion posts, and fill empty compassionate appointments without any claimants.
However, the protestors refused to call off the protest seeing as their primary demand of employment “wasn’t fulfilled”, since the government didn’t agree to create posts where the current temporary staffs are being regularised. Moreover, following the discussion, DYFI secretary AA Rahim said that “external forces have influenced the protests”, and they denied allegations that they weren’t flexible. On the other hand, a few of the protest leaders questioned the role of DYFI in their protest seeing as how the youth wing of the CPM isn’t a governmental agency.
The problem is that once the election dates are fixed, then the government can claim a violation of conduct to deny the demands of the protestors. However, reports claim that the government is planning three cabinet meetings in which they plan to complete the procedure for completing the backdoor appointments and regularisations. The protestors have already brought their family to the protest area to force the government’s hand.
Meanwhile, Kalady University has entered into a new controversy with regards to their demand for the creation of a new post of Publication Director. They had made the demand before, which the government and Governor Arif Mohammed Khan had denied seeing as how such a post doesn’t exist in any other state university in Kerala, and even rarely in the country. The authorities have called it “unnecessary” and “burden on the state exchequer”.
However, sources report that the creation of such a post is for the benefit of a left union leader employed in the university. Reportedly, he is set to retire on April 2021, and the elevation of Senior Publication Officer to Director of Publication would entitle the person to UGC scale pay and four more years of service. The state government had denied permission for the same in 2018 and 2019, but the university has asked to speed up the process.