Joseph not satisfied even after transfer of Idukki Collector

via Pioneer News Service | Thiruvananthapuram published on September 26, 2007

Kerala Congress(J) chairman and former Minister PJ Joseph should actually have felt happy for the State Government bowing to the pressure from his party and transferring Idukki District Collector (DC) Raju Narayanaswami, who has been giving him sleepless nights with his exposes on land encroachments by the politicians’ kin and colleagues.

But, Joseph does not seem to be satisfied. To every question about the Cabinet’s decision, he answered that the IAS official should be punished as per the provisions of the service rules.

Joseph has the right to think and respond as he likes but Kerala in general, including most of the political parties, feel otherwise. In a sense, the BJP’s decision to observe a hartal in Idukki on Thursday reflects the mood of the State over the Cabinet’s decision.

Joseph, however, said he had not, at any time, demanded the transfer or any action against Narayanswami. Despite the fact that his party protested against the IAS man including rallies to the District Collectorate in Idukki. “In fact, I wanted him to learn some lessons on how to do his job, I wanted him to learn these lessons from Idukki itself,” Joseph told reporter. “Is there a threat in that statement?” Joseph was asked. “No,” he said.

Joseph said Narayayanaswami was inefficient, who never cared for the job and would not take up any responsibility. “He is media crazy. He would go to media with whatever he gets without verifying. He never works. He is inconsistent, immature,” Joseph seemed ready to use all negative words against the official, while talking to media. To questions whether he had any role in the transfer of Narayanaswami, Joseph said, “I have not made a single complaint against him in the LDF. Whatever I had to say about him, I have said in the public,” he said.

Joseph, who is irked over the style of functioning of Narayanaswami by springing some comfortable report or another about his colleagues or kin, alleged that the official had delayed development projects by withholding MLA and MP funds. “He would not do anything to help the poor people, to distribute medicine to the poor,” he said.

The former Minister said he had told the Government that Narayanaswami was not the suitable person for the Mission Munnar anti-encroachment drive as he would never take responsibility.

Narayanswami had become Joseph’s foe the day he started acting against encroachments by his kin and colleagues. The MP fund that Joseph says was withheld by the Collector was reportedly used for constructing roads for personal purposes by partymen.

The IASW official in his capacity had reported against the interests of KC(J) leader TU Kuruvila, the then PWD Minister, over the allegations against his children of planning to sell Government land to a Kuwait-based businessman. Then, came the reports against Joseph’s brother-in-law, director of Greenberg Resorts in Idukki district, who had allegedly grabbed Government land. It was while these actions that Jacob’s party started agitations against him.

Kerala Congress (S) leader PC George said Joseph was behind the Government action against Narayanaswami. He said the people of Idukki knew well the track-record of Narayanaswami as an efficient and sincere civil servant.

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