The Kerala Cabinet has decided not to give an extension to chief secretary Jiji Thomson whose term ends on February 28.
The decision was taken at a special cabinet session that was convened on Monday. Thomson will however continue as the chairman of the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC).
P K Mohanty, who is the director general of Institute of Management in Government has been appointed as the chief secretary.
The extension sought for Jiji Thomson as Kerala chief secretary had ruffled quite a few feathers with the Opposition saying it is a ‘serious issue’.
The leader of the Opposition V S Achuthanandan had reportedly written to the Centre and chief election commissioner saying that the state government “violated apex court directions in appointing the chief secretary, who was accused in a corruption case that was under consideration of Supreme Court”.
VS further alleged that all norms of the Department of Personnel and Training were flouted in the appointment of Jiji Thompson as chief secretary.
The state government’s contention that the extension was on the basis of Election Commission’s recommendation hasn’t cut much ice with the Opposition.
CPI(M) leader Pinarayi Vijayan said, “The appointment of Chief Secretary is a state subject. The state government is trying to depict the extension was based on the recommendation of the Election Commission. As the poll is yet to be notified by the Commission, a call on such matters will not be taken. “The move to extend the tenure of Jiji Thomson is suspicious. Though I appreciate the officer’s caliber, there is no denying the fact that once the tenure of an officer ends, he must step down. There were other eligible and efficient officers down the line.”
Meanwhile, Thompson cleared the air and said that he has never sought an extended tenure for himself.
With the term of the present government coming to an end on May 16 and with Jiji Thompson set to retire on February 28, the government had sought a three-month extension of his tenure.