Kerala govt re-hires ex-MP and ex-IAS officer

CPM leader and two-time MP from Kerala, A Sampath, who lost the Lok Sabha polls, was appointed as special representative of the Kerala government in New Delhi to liaison with the centre. File photo

The Left Front government in Kerala has drawn flak over its decision to appoint an ex-MP, who lost the recent Lok Sabha election, as a special liaison officer in New Delhi with Cabinet rank as well as redeploying an ex-IAS officer.

CPM leader and two-time MP from Kerala, A Sampath, who lost the Lok Sabha polls, was appointed as special representative of the Kerala government in New Delhi to liaison with the centre. He will enjoy a state cabinet minister's rank, can appoint five people as staff and would get other benefits like a vehicle and a residence.

The government justified the decision saying that effective liaison between state and the Centre was essential. However, a source in the government said that there was already a team of state government officials, including an IAS officer, at Delhi for the liaison works. The service of the MPs from Kerala could be also used for this purpose.

Meanwhile, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president and former union minister Mullappally Ramachandran accused the CPM of making the new appointment using the public money to help its leaders from the state who go to Delhi, as the party was left with few representatives in Delhi, having won only one seat.

The Kerala government also decided to redeploy ex-IAS officer T Balakrishnan, the son-in-law of a coalition leader of the Left Front and retired as additional chief secretary in 2011. He was given redeployment earlier too. He will be the special officer for capital city development programme to help develop ring roads for Thiruvananthapuram, and would draw a remuneration of over Rs 2 lakh per month, apart from other allowances and a vehicle, government sources said.

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