Transparency & equity must in appointments

The letter, dated November 1, is written on the mayor’s official letterhead and has her signature.

Published: 11th November 2022 12:08 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th November 2022 12:08 AM   |  A+A-

Arya Rajendran

Thiruvananthapuram Mayor Arya Rajendran, the youngest person to occupy that post in the country, has landed in the soup knowingly or unknowingly after a letter, allegedly written by her, leaked. In the letter to CPM District Secretary Anavoor Nagappan, the mayor is asking for a “priority list” of CPI(M) cadres to be appointed to the 295 temporary vacant posts in the corporation.

The letter, dated November 1, is written on the mayor’s official letterhead and has her signature. Arya, however, has denied writing the letter and has approached the chief minister, seeking an inquiry into the matter. The government has ordered a Crime Branch probe into the issue. The high court, meanwhile, has issued a notice to the Thiruvananthapuram mayor while admitting a plea filed by an opposition party member demanding a judicial probe or CBI inquiry into the matter. The court will hear the case on November 25.

The episode has turned the capital into a war zone, with the opposition hitting the roads, demanding the mayor’s resignation. The CPI(M), which has already been facing a series of allegations of nepotism, is seen scrambling for a cover. Though the LDF government tried to save face by announcing that all appointments to the 295 vacancies in the corporation would be made through the employment exchange, the ruling CPM certainly is on the back foot here.These politically flavoured appointments are familiar to the state where everything is turned into politics. The temporary posts have always been used as a hook by various political parties to keep their flock together. Considering the fact that Kerala is one state with a relatively high number of unemployed youth—38.3 lakh as per the latest official figures—it is high time that all employment opportunities are channelled through employment exchanges.

The appointment of employees—whether contractual or temporary—depending upon the political affiliation, is certainly an act of nepotism and maladministration. There needs to be transparency and equity in the appointments and it is the duty of the government to ensure that. Equal opportunities must be provided to all candidates at all levels, and one’s political affiliation should never be a criterion in deciding one’s employment prospects. Using job opportunities as a political tool certainly does not augur well for the polity or for society.


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