Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has warned the personal staff of ministers that the government will not tolerate corruption. The stern warning came at a meeting convened on Monday in capital Thiruvananthapuram to accelerate the pace of governance. In the meeting, said to be the first of the kind by a chief minister since the state’s formation, Pinarayi stressed on eight areas, including the need to avoid middlemen who come to lobby or push government files.
“The staff of a minister should not interfere in the matters of other departments,” Pinarayi said. He also stressed on the need for punctuality and the personal integrity. The CM also warned the staff against accepting freebies from middlemen. If the matters represented by the Opposition are just, they should be executed, he said. A common criteria will be framed for transfer of government officials, and no one should intervene in the matter.
The meeting was convened in the aftermath of the sacking of a personal staff of Tourism and Cooperation Minister Kadakampally Surendran. Each minister has some 25 personal staff. Most of these are political postings and they work in both the minister’s office and the camp office at the incumbent’s residence. They are entitled to pay and other emoluments, including pension like the government secretariat staff.
Pinarayi had convened a similar meeting of the government secretariat staff in June. Outlining his vision of governance, he had stressed on the need to usher in a new work culture and had called for a time bound decision on files.