The Last Grade Servants (LSG) rank holders of the Kerala Public Service Commission (PSC), who had been protesting outside the secretariat for the past 34 days have called off their strike after conciliatory talks with Kerala Law Minister AK Balan. However, the Civil Police Officers rank holders, who were protesting along with LGS rank holders at the Secretariat, will be continuing their indefinite protest.
Representatives of LGS rank holders met the Kerala Minister and it was agreed in the meeting that working hours of the night watchmen will be regularised to eight hours so that more vacancies will be created and rank holders can get placed. The protesters had alleged that in certain departments, watchmen were working for about 20 hours doing a double shift.
"In the meeting with the Law Minister, he took a favourable stand on our demands. He promised to take all action to regularise the working hours of last grade servants so that extra vacancies will be filled from our list. He also promised that it will be done after receiving the permission from Election Commission (as elections are due to be held)," one of the protestors told the media. He said that the minister's office has also promised to give the minutes of their meeting at the earliest. The meeting with the minister lasted for an hour.
The indefinite protest had started on January 26. The Kerala government had said that there were not enough vacancies to give placements to all the rank holders as most of them who were protesting had a lower rank.
The protesters have accused the government of making backdoor appointments, nepotism and giving permanent posts to temporary staff members as a reason for low vacancies.
The protesters had been engaging in various types of protests to attract the attention of the government. A few days ago, Wayanad MP and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had visited the PSC rank holders outside the Kerala secretariat. He also alleged that nepotism was the reason for unemployment to the eligible.