Thiruvananthapuram: Even as the CPM-led Pinarayi Vijayan government is facing the heat over alleged collusion with the self-financing private medical colleges, the appointment of a relative of a top CPM leader as Managing Director of a state-owned public sector undertaking has raised eyebrows.
The appointment of Sudhir Nambiar as Managing Director of Kerala State Industrial Enterprise (KSIE) has been questioned by the BJP, which has charged the government with nepotism.
Nambiar is the son of former State Minister and presently CPM Lok Sabha member PK Sreemathy and is also the nephew of State Industries Minister EP Jayarajan.
KSIE was set up in 1973 as a holding company of the Kerala government to revive and nurse the sick units under the Industries Department and now is the custodian of the air cargo complex at the three international airports in the southern state.
KSIE comes under the Industries Department and when asked on Thursday about the appointment of his close relative as MD, Jayarajan said relatives of his do work on several positions.
"No complaints have been received on the appointment and, if there is any, it will be looked into," said Jayarajan, who received global media attention for his tongue-in-cheek remark when, asked for his reaction on the passing away of legendary boxer Mohammed Ali, he said Ali was an eminent sports personality of Kerala and won a gold medal thereby raising Kerala's stature in the world.
Young Nambiar, who has no experience of working in any senior position in any government organisation, will now replace senior IAS officer M. Beena, the present MD of KSIE.
Former State BJP president V Muraleedharan on Thursday called for the immediate cancellation of the order appointing Nambiar as the MD of KSIE.
"This is nothing but nepotism and abuse of power. Moreover, I myself have approached the Vigilance Department with a complaint against him about his alleged deals when Sreemathy was the State Health Minister during 2006-11 and about his other business dealings," said Muraleedharan in a statement.
The Vijayan government had earlier announced that appointments to key posts in the various public sector undertakings would be transparent and only merit would be the criteria.