KOZHIKODE: Senior Congress leaders Ramesh Chennithala and K C Venugopal have flayed the state government for the appointment of Sriram Venkitaraman as the Alappuzha district collector. On the sidelines of the party’s state Chintan Shivir in Kozhikode on Sunday, Venugopal told reporters, “The CPM regime in Kerala has no obligation to the people. The latest example of this is putting the person accused in a journalist’s murder in charge of a district.”
While Venugopal termed the appointment “bizarre”, Chennithala said it is a challenge to the people.
“The person accused in the murder case, who hasn’t yet been exonerated, is being put at the helm in Alappuzha. I am not ready to make personal remarks against Venkitaraman. Collectors are generally appointed by the government,” the former opposition leader said, urging the government to reconsider the decision.
Further, Venugopal alleged that the BJP and the CPM are two anti-people political movements that should be opposed. The Congress has only one policy for the whole country in terms of its arch rival, he said. “The first enemy of the Congress is the fascist BJP. While the CPM central unit cooperates with the Congress, the Kerala CPM unit works closely with the BJP out of a blind anti-Congress stance,” Venugopal said.
Comment option disabled on Alappuzha collector’s FB page
Alappuzha: With Sriram Venkitaraman’s appointment kicking up a row, the comment option on the Alappuzha district collector’s official Facebook page has been disabled to avoid public criticism. The Congress and the Indian Union Muslim League have hit out at the state government, urging it to reconsider the decision. The district committee of the Kerala Union of Working Journalists has also protested against the posting. The government should re-examine Sriram’s appointment as the Alappuzha collector, said KUWJ district president S Sajith and secretary T K Anilkumar in a statement. Sriram -- now a joint secretary with the health and family welfare department -- is an accused in the case in which a journalist was killed after Sriram’s car hit the latter’s two-wheeler in Thiruvananthapuram in 2019. The young bureaucrat was in an inebriated state when the accident happened.