After an hour-long meeting between Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who returned to the state capital early on Sunday after a visit to the US and the UAE, and Governor Arif Mohammed Khan at the Raj Bhavan, on Sunday night, the Kerala Lokayukta amendment Ordinance was signed by Khan.
Leader of Opposition V.D. Satheesan said, this is nothing but a trade-off between Vijayan and the Governor as reports have surfaced that a file appointing a BJP leader at Khan’s office is with Vijayan.
“This is a trade-off and the news is there were middlemen engaged in working out this. Vijayan will now go down in history as the one who tweaked this anti-corruption body. Through this the biggest beneficiary is Vijayan himself (there was a case before Lokayukta against him on handling the Chief Minister Distress Relief Fund),” said Satheesan and added that the green flag to do corruption has now been put up.
Satheesan said this tweaking is being said that Sec 14 of this Act is unconstitutional, but such a thing has not been said by any court at all and even the second biggest party — the CPI in the ruling Left has by now on umpteen occasions said none knows why was there a hurry in an Ordinance.
“Through this tweaking the Lokayukta can only bark and cannot bite and through this corruption can go forward unabated. We will seek legal recourse on this amendment,” added Satheesan.
Meanwhile expressing his displeasure yet again was CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran who said on Monday that none has told him why was there a hurry in floating an Ordinance.
“None has convinced me of the urgency, but now that the Governor has been convinced, then other things are not important,” said a peeved Rajendran.
Through the fresh amendment, the Chief Minister can reject the findings of the Lokayukta in a corruption case against any minister and the Governor can reject if the case is against the Chief Minister.
During the previous LDF government led by Vijayan, Higher Education Minister, K.T. Jaleel had to resign after the Lokayukta had found that he had abused his office.