PSC rank holders dig in their heels

They seek special rule to revive CPO rank list

PSC rank holders agitating for government jobs on Wednesday dug their heels in on their demand for talks with the government.

They requested a parley with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, or a Minister deputed by him. The agitators demanded posting for one-fifth of the rank holders in the PSC list for appointment as last grade employees.

The protesters welcomed the purported decision of the Cabinet to stop regularising temporary workers. They had expressed fear that the step would emasculate the PSC and whittle down their employment chances.

Special rule

PSC rank holders who cleared the test for appointment to the post of civil police officers (CPO) said they would intensify their agitation unless the government revived the obsolete rank list by promulgating a special rule.

The government had maintained that their demand was beyond the pale of legal possibility. It had slammed former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy for sowing such implausible ideas to give false hope to the job-seekers.

Mr Chandy reacted stoically to the charge and said he would take any blame for the anguished rank holders demanding their due from an “apathetic” government.

Industries Minister E.P. Jayarajan said the government was in favour of talks with agitators. However, the rider to the bargain was that PSC rank holders should directly approach the government without any political intermediaries. He said Opposition parties had nudged PSC rank holders on the warpath against the government by spreading disinformation and with an eye on the elections.

Oppn. charge

Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Mullappally Ramachandran said the government had developed cold feet in the face of youth anger. It had backtracked from its move to circumvent the PSC and regularise temporary workers. The public required a full accounting of “backdoor” appointments since 2016.

The Bharatiya Janata Party national executive member Sobha Surendran has also entered the fray. She began a 48-hour fast in front of the Secretariat demanding an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation into how the government had sidestepped the PSC and appointed preferred persons in State service.

Ms. Surendran alleged that a group of financial fraudsters allied with CPI(M) leaders had benefitted monetarily from the illegal appointments.

Congress legislators K.S. Sabarinathan and Shafi Parambil are on a fast in front of the Secretariat in support of the agitators.

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