THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: BJP leader V Muraleedharan has come out with evidence of bribe collection by a pro-Congress organisation for the recruitment of lower-level employees in the Cochin Devaswom Board (CDB).
At a news conference here on Monday, he produced copies of the receipts of money collected from candidates who had been appointed in kazhakam and peon categories in the CDB just a couple of days ahead of the Governor signing the Devaswom Recruitment Board Bill on March 3, 2014.
While there is a rule to make direct appointment to 75 per cent promotion posts and 25 per cent quota for daily wage workers in kazhakam and peon posts, 109 daily wage workers were made regular employees after collecting bribe.
Later, 68 of them were promoted and in the posts that became vacant following their promotion, 62 people were again appointed. In the 25 per cent quota for daily wages workers, 29 were regularised in the kazhakam posts.
He said that the Cochin Devaswom Employees Congress (CDEC), a pro-Congress organisation, had collected bribes from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 3 lakh for making these appointments.
“I am in possession of one of the receipt books the CDEC had issued after collecting bribe. They must have collected more amounts for which there are no receipts available. It is interesting to see that persons working on daily wages had paid Rs 2 lakh to Rs 3 lakh as contributions to CDEC,” he said.
He also produced photocopies of over 20 receipts and the copy of the Special Devaswom Commissioner’s proceedings on the appointment of the 29 temple employees in the Cochin Devaswom Board, issued on January 1, 2015.
“It was just before the appointment that these lower level employees contributed such huge amounts to the Congress organisation. It must be with the knowledge of the devaswom administrative council and devaswom minister that these employees paid lakhs of rupees,” he said.
Muraleedharan said that the BJP wanted the chief minister to removed Devaswom Minister V S Sivakumar from the Cabinet and order a comprehensive probe into the appointments made in the devaswom boards in the past 10 years.