A letter, allegedly written by Thiruvananthapuram Corporation Mayor Arya Rajendran to a top ruling CPI(M) leader asking the priority list of party cadres to be appointed in temporary posts in the civic body, has kicked up a huge political controversy in Kerala with opposition Congress and BJP demanding her immediate resignation.
The purported letter, addressing CPI(M) district secretary Anavoor Nagappan as “comrade”, was written on the official letter pad of the Mayor.
Rajendran, in the letter dated November 1, purportedly informed that the CPI(M)-ruled city corporation had decided to appoint employees in various posts in connection with its health wing on a daily wage basis.
A break-up chart of various posts and the number of vacancies in each category including public health expert, doctor, staff nurse, pharmacist, lab technician, part-time sweeper and so on was also given in the controversial letter.
The 23-year-old mayor purportedly requested the party district secretary to provide the priority list of cadres to be appointed by November 16, the last date of submission of applications.
Reacting to the controversy, CPI(M)’s Anavoor Nagappan said such a letter did not come to his notice and there was no need for the mayor to write a letter like that.
“I have not received such a letter. No one has given a reply also,” he told reporters here.
When asked why a police complaint was not given if that letter was fake, the leader said this question should be asked to the Mayor.
The mayor is not in the state capital as she is away for a function in Kozhikode and he could not contact her over phone, Nagappan added.
The party would respond in the matter after talking to the mayor in this regard, he said.
The issue triggered a political row after local media reported about the controversial letter allegedly sent by the young mayor.
Stepping up their attack against the CPI(M)-led LDF government over the development, the Congress and BJP charged that it was yet another example of their attempt to induct party cadres in state-run institutions.
“The Mayor, who had violated the oath of office and conducted nepotism, has no right to remain in the post any more…Arya Rajendran should resign and face legal action at the earliest,” AICC general secretary K C Venugopal said.
According to the National Employment Exchange Act, vacancies in government and semi-government institutions should be reported to the employment exchanges of the respective district, he said, adding that the Left-ruled corporation however violated all these laws and procedures.
Kerala PCC chief K Sudharakan said the alleged letter by the mayor was no surprise as the Left rule is for the party cadres only.
“The mayor’s letter is a blatant violation of existing laws,” he told reporters here.
Coming down heavily on the mayor, BJP state chief K Surendran demanded that the administrative panel of the Left-ruled civic body should be dissolved.
“This is a challenge to the lakhs of youths in the state. Kerala is now going through a terrible situation where if you want to get a job in a government institution, you have to be a CPI(M) member or a relative of CPI(M) leaders or ministers,” he said.
The Thiruvananthapuram Corporation is also following the same policy of the Pinarayi Vijayan government that jobs are reserved only for CPI(M) workers, the BJP leader said.
Meanwhile, Youth Congress and Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha activists took out protest marches to the city corporation demanding Rajendran’s resignation.