Thiruvananthapuram: Former Congress leader K V Thomas, who was recently appointed Kerala's special representative in Delhi, has requested the state government to pay him an honorarium, instead of a salary.
Thomas confirmed to Manorama Online that he has written to the government not to pay him a salary. Incidentally, Thomas has also said in the letter that he was willing to travel in economy class on flights. Thomas’ request is now with the finance department, which decides the staff strength and their emoluments.
On getting the department's approval, an order on payment of honorarium to Thomas would be issued after clearance from the chief minister’s office.
In Delhi, Thomas’ office will be at Kerala House. He will have another office in Ernakulam as well.
In a surprise move, the government on January 18 decided to appoint Thomas as Special Representative in Delhi with cabinet rank. The CPM-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) government in Kerala believes that the wide contacts and friendships Thomas enjoys in Delhi would be beneficial for Kerala. Thomas had a long term in the national capital as a Congress minister and Member of Parliament (MP).
During the term of the first Pinarayi Vijayan government, A Sampath, former MP of the CPM, was appointed as Special Representative in Delhi. Sampath’s salary was Rs 92,423, including basic pay, DA and Delhi allowance.
Thomas developed differences with the Congress after he took part in a seminar at the CPM party congress in Kannur. He was later expelled from the Congress when he turned up at the LDF’s convention during the Assembly by-election in Thrikkakara.