Thiruvananthapuram: Even as the Left Democratic Government finds itself in a quandary over the continuing agitation by PSC rank-holders in front of the Secretariat, former chief minister Oommen Chandy has mooted a way out of the logjam.
As the protests are primarily staged by candidates who are seeking placements in several LGS posts in the Kerala government service, Chandy suggested prolonging the validity of the relevant rank list as was practised by his government earlier.
Chandy suggested that the validity of the rank list of Last-Grade Servants (LGS) should be extended by one-and-a-half years on the lines of the previous United Democratic Front Government headed by him.
"The UDF government had not scrapped even a single list whose validity was not extended by four-and-a-half years. There are provisions and rules to extend an old list by one-and-a-half years if there is no new list. The UDF government followed this practice for five years," Chandy asserted.
Chandy said the UDF had adopted a clear policy on PSC rank lists. The front supports issuing a new list only in place of one expiring after 3 years but after extending it.
He also demanded that the government should support the case of those in the rank list for Civil Police Officer post.
The former chief minister responded on the likely solution to the ongoing agitation after calling on Congress MLAs and Youth Congress leaders who are observing a hunger strike in front of the Secretariat in support of the job-seekers. He also met the agitating PSC rank-holders.
'Why scrap lists'
Chandy blamed the LDF Government for not showing the resolve to keep the rank lists live so that rank holders benefit.
"The LDF is waiting so that the PSC lists run its three-year validity period and thus they could be scrapped. As many as 133 lists have been scrapped. These include lists with validity periods of two to three years. No new lists were published in place of these lists. Had the government wanted, it could have extended the period," Chandy stated.
The details of the scrapped lists will be made public in two or three days. Of the 31 lists whose validity period had expired, the government had asked to give advice memos for just 350 persons, he added.
The former chief minister also said the appointments should be based strictly on merit. The government may not be able to provide jobs to all those who figure in the PSC lists. However, the government can intervene in providing appointments to a majority of people who are on the list.
Challenge to Vijayaraghavan
Chandy dared LDF Convenor A Vijayaraghavan to prove his allegation that UDF Government had taken money for extending the validity of PSC rank lists. He asked Vijayaraghavan to prove the charge by producing at least one person from whom money was taken.
He also defended the appointment of a few temporary staff by the previous UDF government and trashed the allegations pertaining to the appointments in the Kerala House, New Delhi.
“The government had received two letters from the then opposition leader V S Achuthanandan. One of the persons appointed was the wife of a person employed at the AKG Centre. We never saw politics in Kerala House appointments. We did not appoint anyone in posts that came within the ambit of the PSC,” Chandy clarified.
Meanwhile, the representatives of agitating rank-holders said extending the validity of the rank lists doesn't make sense when jobs are needed.
"We need appointments," said Vineesh Krishnan, a representative.
Petition filed against job regularisation
A petition has been filed at the High Court against the hasty regularisation of temporary employees by the LDF government during the fag end of its tenure and that too when lakhs of unemployed youth are waiting for jobs. The petition has been filed by Kollam resident Faizal Kulappadam and Vishnu Sunil.