As pressure mounts on Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who has so far not broken his silence on the protests by Kerala Law Academy students, police on Monday registered a case against Principal Lekshmi Nair on a complaint by a student about casteist remarks made by her against him.
The united protest by the students reached its 20th day on Monday, demanding Lekshmi Nair's resignation due to her unbecoming behaviour and alleged nepotism.
According to informed sources, Vijayan who also holds the Home portfolio, is unhappy about the manner in which the academy management led by its Director and Lekshmi Nair's father Narayanan Nair is behaving, even after huge public protests.
Vijayan had on Sunday directed state CPI-M Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan to call up the Director and his brother Koliyokode Krishnan Nair - a three time CPI-M former legislator.
After they said that Lekshmi Nair's resignation will not be possible, the Chief Minister called up Krishnan Nair and told him strongly that the principal has to step down.
The registering of the police case indicates that Vijayan now means business as three complaints by students against the principal were given days back but the police failed to act.
Former Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan on Monday countered his party Secretary Balakrishnan's statement that the stir at the academy is just a student protest and nothing else.
"It's not a student protest, it is a public issue and the state government must act and not succumb to the powerful," he told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram.
Meanwhile, the health of former state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President V. Muraleedharan, who is on indefinite hunger strike over the issue, deteriorated. The party leadership has decided that if Muraleedharan's health worsens, a new person would take his place.
"We have already briefed Kerala Governor P Sathasivam on the various violations of the academy and we are confident that he will act.
"The state government is playing games and is giving ample time to the academy management to work out their strategy. The state government should act without any more delay," state BJP President Kummanem Rajasekheran told reporters on Monday.
State Congress President V.M. Sudheeran said that the protest was started by its student organisation - KSU and now every political party has joined the stir.
"The state government has done nothing even as the stir entered its 20th day. Now the state government at least should act based on the Kerala University Syndicate report which has already debarred the principal from examination duties and other key activities.
"Anyone with an iota of morality would have resigned, after the University debarred her," said Sudheeran who also demanded that Vijayan urgently call an all-party meeting to discuss the issues that have cropped up in the education sector.
The private college, set up in Thiruvananthapuram in 1968, has till now enjoyed absolute support from successive state governments, enabling it to have an 11-acre campus besides a prime plot of land in the heart of the city, where it has built a commercial complex.
Now with pressure mounting, Vijayan is understood to have given an ultimatum to his cabinet colleague State Education Minister C. Raveendranath to see that things are resolved at the earliest.
Meanwhile, Lekshmi Nair is hoping that a petition that's coming up at the high court on Tuesday, gives her some relief.