Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 30 (BPNS)
Former Kerala Minister K.T. Jaleel who had to resign from his ministerial post due to an observation from Lokayukta has come out against the Lokayukta and former Supreme Court judge, Justice Cyriac Joseph.
In a social media post, Jaleel said that Kerala Lokayukta is a person who will stoop to any level to support the Congress-led UDF and added that he was the person who had helped bail out a senior UDF leader during his stint as Kerala High Court Judge. Jaleel in the post said that the Justice had bargained hard with the then UDF government for appointing his sister-in-law as the Vice-Chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi University.
Kerala is in the midst of a political storm after the ruling Left Front government in its last cabinet meeting decided to dilute the powers of Lokayukta which are bitterly opposed by the Congress, BJP, and even the coalition partner in the LDF government, CPI.
K.T. Jaleel who was in controversy over him influencing the posting of his close relative had to put in his papers after the Lokayukta had observed against him and during the second Pinarayi Vijayan government of the LDF, he was not considered for a ministerial berth even though he won his assembly seat.
Congress leader and former Opposition leader of the state, Kerala Ramesh Chennithala while speaking to IANS said,” The posting of Justice Cyriac Joseph as Lokayukta was done by the present Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and as leader of Opposition, I have also unanimously supported the government decision. My support was due to the fact that he was a good Justice and had professionally excelled as Kerala High Judge as well as Supreme Court judge. It is for the Kerala Chief Minister to answer on this allegation and I don’t think that the Chief Minister would support his former cabinet colleague on this allegation.”
Several people have come out against the statement made by K.T. Jaleel and High court advocate and social activist, Advocate Jaishankar while speaking to media persons said, “ Jaleel seems to be frustrated and hence this statement as he had to resign following the observation by the Lokayukta. But I will not give a clean chit to Justice Cyriac Joseph as he was close to the Kerala Congress (Mani) and personally very close to late K.M. Mani who was the leader of the Kerala Congress (Mani). It was with the support of the Kerala Congress (Mani) that he had become the Kerala High Court judge then. Now it is for the Chief Minister to answer on this.”
The statement of Jaleel has left the LDF government red-faced as the CPM is already in a corner with its coalition partner, CPI coming strongly against the CPM decision to bring reforms in Lokayukta.
CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran had while speaking to media persons said that the CPM had not taken up the issue of Lokayukta reforms in the meeting with the CPI that was held on January 14. He also said that the CPI is openly commenting on the matter as the CPM had not informed them about the reforms in Lokayukta.
While the government in the state is in a corner over the reforms in the Lokayukta, the statement of K.T. Jaleel in social media platform will have the CPM scurrying for cover and the Chief Minister who is on a tour of middle east will have to come out on this statement by the former minister of the LDF.