I’m not the only one to show favoritism: Sreemathi

via PNS | Thiruvananthapuram published on October 14, 2009

Health Minister PK Sreemathi on Wednesday said that she was not the only Minister in the LDF Cabinet who had appointed relatives in the personal staff. “I am not the only person to do this. But everybody is talking about me alone,” she complained.

But when newsmen wanted to know which other Minister had appointed relatives in the personal staff, she refused to give a clear answer. “I don’t know. I have not examined this,” she said. She was responding to queries about the recent decision of the CPI(M) Politburo to bring in a code of conduct to end favoritism among Ministers in appointing members of personal staff.

Sreemathi said that she had appointed her relatives in her personal staff as per the permission given by the CPI(M) that Ministers could appoint staff members at their residences as per their own choice. She claimed that she had “ended” that some one-and-a-half years ago when the party gave a “direction” against it.

“I had appointed the cook and attendant in my house as per the permission given by the part that such staff could be taken as per the Ministers’ wish. But that was rectified long back. There is no attendant at my residence for the past one-and-a-half years,” the Minister said.

There were allegations that Srremathi had appointed her daughter-in-law Dhanya M Nair as cook at her house. It was also alleged that Dhayna was later promoted as a personal assistant in pensionable grade. According to reports, one of the first things Sreemathi did after taking over as Health Minister in 2006 was to appoint her kin in her personal staff.

It was also reported that Sreemathi had appointed Jithin Raj, son of EP Jayarajan, her colleague in the CPI(M) central committee as clerk in her office. Jayarajan’s wife was Sreemathi’s sister. This allegation also had become a controversy.

The reports had become a huge headache for the CPI(M) which was then initiating steps to control the affinity of the party leaders and workers to richness and luxurious lifestyles. The Politburo had to counter questions about the lavish lifestyles of and favouritism among the top leaders like PK Sreemathi.

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