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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Kerala: Personality

A man for all seasons


VS' image has been lily white so far, but things could change
SHANAVAS. S | Issue Dated: November 20, 2011, New Delhi
Tags : kerala | v s achutanandan | left democratic party | LDF | IHRD | IT posrtfolio |

In Kerala's Byzantine politics, V.S Achuthanandan is the crown prince. His compelling power to draw crowds is legion. It was the VS factor which helped the CPI-M lead Left Democratic Front (LDF) to get 68 seats in the 140 member Kerala Assembly. Even arch rival Congress has publicly admitted so in as many words. As an opposition leader, his fight against corruption has strengthened his image as an indefatigable fighter.

Now suddenly in the wake of alleged violations in the promotion given to his son, V.A Arunkumar in a state-run institution, Institute of Human Resources Development (IHRD), the former CM's clean image has taken a blow. A recent accountant general report has pointed out irregularities in the appointment of Arunkumar in IHRD. It has concluded that the promotion given to Arunkumar was illegal. Arunkumar, who joined IHRD as assistant director in 1997 was promoted first as college principal, then as joint director and finally as additional director. All promotions were awarded to him without the desired experience, the report said. According to it, eligibility rules were scrapped to make him additional director in 2008, a position created without prior and proper approval from the finance department.

The report said Arunkumar was given additional charge of a finishing model school for engineering graduates, set up by the IT department and IHRD without any approval from school governing authority. They also found financial irregularities in the running of this school. All these irregularities reportedly took place when VS himself was handling the IT portfolio. Following the reports, Kerala's education department has recommended Arunkumar's suspension from the post of additional director. The government, however, delayed its decision because a state assembly panel, the vigilance and anti-corruption department are already investigating separate complaints of corruption against him. The vigilance department is probing allegations that Arunkumar took a bribe of Rs 7 lakh from the sandalwood mafia in 2004.

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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017