The Congress and BJP in Kerala on Saturday demanded that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan come clean on the 'ouster' of Vigilance and Anti Corruption Bureau Director Jacob Thomas.
The Left government late Friday evening asked Thomas to go on a month's leave and as soon as the announcement came, his name plate outside his office was also removed, which signalled that he would not return after his leave ends.
The Kerala High Court came down heavily on Thomas last week and told the government that it was high time he was reined in. The court's reaction came while it was looking into various vigilance cases filed by his department.
Addressing reporters in Malappuram on Saturday, Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said Thomas' removal looks mysterious.
"Vijayan should come clean and state if Thomas was moved out as demanded by the court or by the CPI-M. Vijayan has taken people for a ride by promising a strong vigilance department," said Chennithala.
Incidentally, during the assembly election campaign last year, the Left Front had promised a strong vigilance department and had criticised Thomas' transfer from the department when Oommen Chandy was the Chief Minister.
After being sworn in, in May last year, the first decision Vijayan took was to appoint Thomas as the vigilance chief.
Kerala Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Kummanem Rajasekheran told reporters on Saturday "there are lots of doubts in the way things are going, especially the sudden removal of Thomas and the people wish to know the reason as well".
Meanwhile, Power Minister MM Mani on Saturday told the media bluntly that Thomas was moved out.
"He tried to do his best and some shortfalls were there... besides, there were some court remarks too and hence this happened," said Mani.
Barely two weeks back, Vijayan told the Kerala assembly Thomas would not be moved out.
The Chief Minister, however, is yet to react to Thomas' sudden removal but his party secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan told the media on Saturday that the party never interferes in governance and that's done by the government.