Kerala CM comes out with Ordinance to dilute Lokayukta powers, amidst opposition

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his cabinet colleague State Higher Education Minister R. Bindhu facing serious accusations before the Kerala Lokayukta, Governor Arif Mohammed Khan has been handed an Ordinance limiting the Lokayukta's authority.

Last Wednesday, when Vijayan appeared online from his hospital bed in the United States, it appeared that the amendment to the Ordinance had been approved by the Vijayan cabinet, which stripped the Ordinance of all its powers and reduced it to a simple recommendatory body.

Former Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala, who called the move the "greatest" hypocrisy, told the reporters here on Tuesday that the Left party had previously supported a Lokpal Bill to combat corruption, as well as concerns involving the government and those holding public office.

For a long time, the CPI-M Central Committee has pushed for increased powers under the Lokpal Bill.

"Every Cabinet meeting is followed by a list of the decisions made. This crucial decision was included in the list from last Wednesday. Vijayan operates in this manner. He says one thing and then acts the complete opposite "Chennithala stated.

The Kerala Lokayukta declared in April 2021, just after the Assembly elections, that then-State Higher Education Minister K.T.Jaleel had broken his oath of office by appointing his relative, forcing him to resign.

 

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