Kerala Minister dismisses nepotism allegations

Thiruvananthapuram: A Kerala Minister on Sunday dismissed nepotism allegations levelled against him by the state opposition, saying they were baseless.

Higher Education Minister K.T. Jaleel has come under fire after the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) said a close relative of the Minister who was a B. Tech graduate, was appointed as general manager in a state-owned corporation, which is all set to get a non-banking finance company license .

The IUML is the second biggest party in the Congress-led opposition.

Speaking to the media here, Jaleel said the appointment of a general manager in the Kerala State Minorities Development Finance Corporation, under his Ministry, was done according to the rules of the government.

“We put out ads in several newspapers inviting people to apply for the varios posts. Seven candidates had applied and three was chosen for an interview, but none was found suitable.

“Hence a person working with the South Indian Bank was selected. The state government has the powers to appoint anyone on deputation and in fact the previous two people who were appointed to this post were selected on deputation,” said Jaleel.

The Minister added: “The new appointee, who is an expert in banking, has started his work and was computerising the records and this act has turned the IUML leadership jittery, as the list of loan defaulters is getting prepared. Those who are now up in arms and levelling baseless allegations know that if the present process continues, many will be in trouble.”

Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala and the state Congress President Mulapally Ramachandran have also demanded Jaleel to step down.

The Minister pointed out that today there were many B. Tech graduates working in banks, adding that the former Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan was an electrical engineer.

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