PSC bribery row: Kerala CM says no irregularity has come to govt notice

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Thiruvananthapuram, Jul 9 (PTI) Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday made it clear that no irregularity has come to the notice of the government with regard to the appointment of Public Service Commission members in the state so far, but for some media reports on this matter.

Vijayan told the Assembly that the government was ready to conduct a "serious probe" into the allegations.

He said the state PSC is a recruiting agency which works in an exemplary manner and it is a generally accepted fact that there has been no external intervention in its appointments.

The CM's statement comes in the wake of a raging political row over allegations levelled against a local CPI(M) leader in Kozhikode that he took bribe from a doctor by promising to secure a position as a PSC member.

While replying to a submission on the issue raised by opposition leader V D Satheesan, he said the appointment of its chairman and other members is also carried out in a transparent manner.

The CM termed the charges, which amounted to tarnishing the reputation of the constitutional institution, were "unfortunate." "No irregularity has come to the notice (of the government) with regard to the appointment of PSC members so far except some media reports," he said.

Noting that their appointments are being made after meeting mandatory requirements, Vijayan said the Left government has been particular in deploying only qualified and deserved people in the constitutional institution.

So, it can surely be said that there would be no corrupt practices in the appointment of PSC members, the CM claimed.

"The government is ready for any serious probe (into the allegations). We won't entertain any kind of malpractices," he said.

Taking a dig at the LoP, Vijayan said the only complaint that the police has received over the matter was an email from a Youth Congress activist this morning, and it was sent to support the submission being raised by Satheesan in the Assembly.

However, the LoP made a scathing attack against the ruling CPI (M) and the government over the alleged bribery issue.

Terming the allegations as "serious", he said the cheating was made in the name of PWD Minister P A Mohammed Riyas.

"PSC membership is up for auction. What is its credibility now? It is not at all an internal issue of the ruling CPI (M)," Satheesan said.

Seeking to know why the complaint was not being handed over to the police, he also said that it was not a matter to be dealt with by the party (CPI-M) commission.

Later, the UDF members staged a walkout in the assembly, protesting the CM's reply.

On Monday, PWD Minister Riyas had outrightly rejected the allegations against him in connection with the bribe row and warned of legal action against those who raised "baseless" charges against him.

Riyas said his name has been continuously dragged into controversies by vested interests, and everybody knows the real intentions behind such moves. PTI LGK ROH