KSEB management should settle dispute with officers' union, says Power Minister

Thiruvananthapuram: There seems to be no immediate solution in sight for the ongoing dispute between the Chairman of the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) and the officers' association owing allegiance to the ruling party, the CPM.

Even though a meeting was earlier planned between the Electricity Minister K Krishnankutty and the officers' association leaders on Monday to sort their issues, it is unlikely to take place as the minister is in Palakkad for an all-party peace initiative in connection with the recent twin political murders there.

At the same time, Krishnankutty said in Palakkad that it was for the KSEB management to settle the manner. "Intervention by the minister is not needed," he said.

"The issues between the Chairman and the officers' association can be solved. However, both sides should be willing for some compromise. Nobody should attempt to usurp the powers of others," the minister said.

"The demands of the officers have already been met. Being a limited company now, KSEB enjoys more autonomy than a Board. So, it is not proper for the Government to intervene in all matters," he added.

Meanwhile, general secretary of the association B Harikumar said that the invitation for the meeting had come from the minister's office.

What's the matter

Issues cropped in KSEB after the management initiated action against Harikumar, state president of the association M G Suresh Kumar and another leader Jasmin Banu. While they were initially suspended from service, the management, led by Chairman B Ashok, had later reduced the punishment to transfers.

While the association is now seeking a cancellation of the transfer orders also, Ashok is not willing for any more leniencies.

Reacting to the developments, Sibikutty Francis, working president of the Kerala Electricity Employees' Confederation, affiliated to the pro-Congress INTUC, has said that any move to cancel the transfer orders would be opposed at all cost. "That would violate every rule," he said.

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