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Friday, June 2, 2023

Kerala pays pensions for ministers’ personal staff after just 2 years of ‘service’

Tall claims of Kerala being the number one state lay in tatters as Arif Mohammed Khan, the governor of the state, ignited a debate on the communist system of changing the personal staff of ministers every two years. Making a mockery of Rajya dharma, such party cadre are then paid pensions using public funds, for life. 

This is a state that is deep in debt, and (forget pension) barely pays even the basic wages of public utility employees. It became evident that such largesse was bleeding the state coffers when audits showed a whopping 200% increase in salaries and pensions paid to such staff during 2019-20 when compared to the 2013-14 period. Some staff who have worked for just two years are drawing a pension of Rs 83,400!

No academic or work experience is needed and the only qualification that is required for this government job is one’s dedication towards the communist regime and their self-centered ‘leaders.’ It is estimated that 800 such pensioners are churned out every five years and this has been a system that is being followed ever since the first government took office in 1957. The first government was also a communist one and the Congress too unashamedly followed the same system whenever it came to power.

The system of party nominees inducted as private secretaries to the ministers who resign once they complete two years is a blot on democracy since their salaries and pensions are paid from the state exchequer. Kerala is also a state that lacks industries that has forced lakhs of educated youngsters to leave for other states and countries, just to find a decent job. Earlier systems of appointing minimum graduates and an age limit of 51 years were abruptly abolished and thus began a system of employing illiterates as personal staff. 

There are 20 cabinet ministers and something called a ‘chief whip’ in Kerala who are all entitled to state-paid personal servants. Even after being allotted 25 personal staff to each minister, grumblings regarding the limit still continue. That the complaints came from none other than the chief minister’s own son-in-law and PWD minister PA Mohamed Riyas had put Pinarayi Vijayan and the government in a fix. 

During the recently concluded assembly elections, ‘adjustment’ politics saw the Congress field an unknown face against the CPM candidate Riyas in the Beypore constituency of the radical Islamist stronghold, Kozhikode. The 2011 census counted 70,000 odd voters but the turnout in the 2021 assemblies was more than 1 lakh 10 thousand. The 2011 data showed Muslims to be around 52% and their numbers have only increased in recent years. 

Having used the Marad genocide to drive out Hindus, the communists and Islamists now have total control over the electorate. This became apparent when the personal staff members of ministers were reviewed. Most staff members are from the so-called minority community.

Last year there were allegations that Riyas employs mostly Muslims and used the list of an earlier Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) minister, the much tainted VK Ibrahim Kunju, who was part of the Congress regime from 2011 to 2016. As expected it contained 17 names and 15 of them were Muslims. 

Leftist media picked up the story and it became clear that it was part of a communist-Islamist agenda. Riyas and one of his Hindu staff went on social media and denied the allegations. Anomalies appeared when self-proclaimed fact-checking websites posted the names of 6 Hindus employed by Riyas but did not publish the full list. 

Though both Riyas and his staff claim that the information is available online, the website mentioned showed gibberish. The fact of the matter is that the list is not available online. Sources revealed that Riyas has an entourage of 27 party cadres. 

It is feared that these pensioners are mostly so-called green communists who work for the communists all day and report to their Popular Front of India handlers at night. A list of a particular minister had no one from the ‘majority’ community. Even the 23 staff that the leader of the opposition VD Satheesan has, are eligible for the same pensions after just 2 years.

Minister of Kerala for Ports Ahamed Devarkovil and his personal staff

It must be highlighted that even the central government ministers employ private staff and the state pays for their salaries and expenses but they are not entitled to pensions. This is also why these staff members last for 5 years, provided they are competent. Interestingly, even central cabinet ministers are entitled to only 15 personal staff members.

Unless the central government steps in the communist leaders are in no mood to stop this unethical system of nepotism. A former electricity minister and sitting CPM MLA MM Mani insulted the governor when he said that the personal staff of ministers are not being paid by the governor’s family. Mani is the self-admitted illiterate minister who single-handedly caused the 2018 floods in Kerala. 

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  1. One really wonders and get shocked to read such news. How can it happen and under which rules? Is there no minimum check even in the system to disallow such mal practice? Are pension rules/laws so vague and manipulative, and is any minster or state govt above such rules/laws? How one can even think to get life long pension after serving for just two years? Such ministers must be questioned and if reqd be punished as per law immediately, and amount of pension so far paid be recovered with penalty and interest from the beneficiaries or from such minister who approved their pension. The needful changes in pension laws be made immediately to stop such illegal pensions.

    On the other had, Lakhs of PSU retired employees have been struggling and fighting their cases in Supreme Court for last many years to get due raise in their pensions (which become due after serving for about 35-40 years in PSU/govt jobs) even after having gotten verdicts in their favour from many high courts. Central Govt and EPFO and acting just as silent spectators to these long pending court cases and showing not much concern to the problems of the retired PSU employees. How strange and insensitive?

    Media is also silent and not raising this burning issue to draw the due attentions of govts , EPFO and concenred authorties.


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