Reports from Thiruvananthapuram, capital city of Kerala, is shameful. A letter sent by Mayor Arya Rajendran to Anavoor Nagappan, CPM district secretary and a prominent state leader, has been exposed. Mayor’s letter to Nagappan asks him to give a list of the party comrades who can fill 265 vacancies of contract labour. Even though the appointment is initially for six months, it can be extended again and eventually likely to be permanent jobs.
The letter, printed on Mayor’s official letter-headed stationery, addresses her party leader “Dear Comrade”. The letter is dated November 1, 2022. Mayor reacted that she was in Delhi on that day hence does not know about such a letter. Nagappan says, he has not seen such a letter. He has not replied either. It is up to Arya to say about it. He is not in a position to say that it was a forged one.
But the letter is doing the rounds in the WhatsApp groups of the CPM comrades. It is to be remembered that some time back Mayor had stated that her work would not suffer even though she is away from the city. She was taking pride in ‘digital signature’ facility she avails. Therefore, BJP leader V.V. Rajesh wonders how can she disown the letter when the letter-headed stationery and her signature are genuine.
In the meantime, former Mayor Adv. V.K. Prashanth MLA is reported to have reacted that informing the party (CPM) regarding the similar vacancies is a system they have been following hence nothing new.
BJP state president K. Surendran said that this is only a tip of the ice berg. Mayor Arya Rajendran follows the style of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
Public Service Commission and Employment Exchange are made mere mute spectators while CPM takes over the duties of those two statutory institutions.
BJP councillors have sieged Mayor’s chamber stating that they will not let her in when she comes. Workers of BJYM and Indian Youth Congress had intruded into the Corporation office. They all are arrested and taken into custody.
When the Mayor’s letter created heat in the capital city, one more letter has also come to the light. The second one dated October 24, 2022 is signed by D.R. Anilkumar, CPM Parliamentary Party Secretary in the Council. The letter is addressed to CPM District Committee and “Dear Comrade” is the salutation. It was seeking the list of candidates for 9 vacancies in a newly launched Rest Room in S.A.T. Hospital. Vacancies are for the positions of Manager, Caretaker, Sweeper, etc. Letter demands the list of Kudumbashree members, a women outfit controlled by CPM. It says the salaries and conditions, etc. The letter is very much similar to that of the mayor. Anil, considered as the real power behind the ‘Chair of Mayor’, is the major player in the Corporation affairs.
The letter came to the light as a result of the RTI application filed by a former councillor G.S. Sreekumar. Sreekumar has now filed a complaint before the Vigilance Director against Mayor Arya. He demands enquiry into all appointments made by the Corporation during the last two years.
This is not first the Mayor falls into hot soup. Corporation, read ruling CPM, had tried to grab lakhs of rupees for the so-called cleaning “after Attukal Pongala” (a major temple festival in the city which attracts more than 10 lakhs women to the city) while there was no Pongala at all due to Covid-19. Recently Mayor faced stiff opposition from BJP for granting parking space, in favour of a private undertaking, in PWD road. At last, she had to withdraw the order.
Observers maintain that the mayor’s letter came to the public domain due to the factionalism in the party. It is a one million dollar question whether the supporters of Mayor or Nagappan leaked it.
When Arya took over as the Mayor, CPM had boasted that she was the youngest Mayor in the history of the country. But BJP leaders demolished that claim by disclosing the name of the young woman BJP Mayor in a Northern Bharat state who was really the youngest in the country.