Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday came out in support of vigilance director Jacob Thomas even as opposition stepped up attack against the top cop.
“Some people want Jacob to be ousted from the post, but that is not going to happen,” Pinarayi said in reply to a notice for an adjournment motion moved by the opposition. Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala alleged that the administration had virtually come to a standstill due to the functioning of the vigilance department under Thomas. He said the opposition has no problems in action being taken against corrupt officials.
“But due to personal vendetta, Thomas was taking action against senior IAS officers, resulting in a stalemate in the administration,” he alleged.
Seeking leave for the motion, M. Vincent of the Congress alleged that Thomas concealed facts about his wealth from the assets declaration and that he had also served as director of private company in violation of service rules.
Quoting media reports and from some documents, he alleged that Thomas had land at Rajapalayam taluk at Virudhunagar district in Tamil Nadu and that he had not disclosed about the 50 cents of land in his asset declaration for 2016. However, Pinarayi said he did not have facts about the matter and could not take any action based on media reports.
“Government will examine the issue…Jacob was an officer who initiated action against the corrupt in the state and government has no plan to remove him,” Pinarayi said. Pinarayi said the government would give the freedom to vigilance to do its duty in a transparent manner and that it is committed to take stern action against corruption.
However, the CM said the High Court had pointed out certain lapses in the functioning of vigilance and had suggested necessary changes in its working. After the CM’s reply, speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan refused leave for the motion, leading to the opposition walkout.