At a time when the Left Democratic Government (LDF) government in Kerala is facing criticism from within and from the opposition for nepotism in PSU postings, a Facebook post by Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) Central Committee member and former state minister PK Sreemathy has put her party in trouble again. 

 


 Sreemathy, a Lok Sabha member from Kannur in Kerala, wrote on her official Facebook page that her daughter-in-law was appointed as her personal staff during her tenure as state Health Minister with the knowledge of the party leadership.  The post indirectly pointed fingers at the CPM as the MP revealed that the party secretary had been kept in the loop regarding the appointment of her daughter-in-law. Interestingly, the present Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan was the party state secretary then. 

 

During her tenure as state Health Minister in 2006-11 LDF government, Sreemathy had included her daughter-in-law Dhanya in her personal staff as a cook and within a year promoted her as an additional personal assistant, with gazetted rank.  However, she was forced to remove Dhanya from the post after the appointment raised a controversy.  By then Dhanya had completed two years and had become eligible for pension as per service rules. 

 

Clarifying on the controversy dating ten years back, Sreemathy said that her daughter-in-law resigned after a direction from the party. But she denied reports that Dhanya is receiving a pension for her service in the Minister's staff. 

 

Sreemathy also questioned selective criticism by media and the opposition, which again suggested that she was not alone in appointing kith and kin in top posts. "Posting relatives in the official residence of ministers was routine," she wrote. 

 

Interestingly, Sreemathy chose to remain tightlipped over the raging controversy in which her son Sudhir Nambiar and husband of Dhanya, was appointed as the managing director of Kerala State Industrial Enterprises.   

 

When the attempt to explain her position backfired on her and the party, Sreemathy deleted the post within hours. 

 

In response to the Facebook post, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan rubbished her claim saying that the CPM was not aware of the appointment of her daughter-in-law. Party came to know about it when Dhanya got a promotion in violation of norms. Then the party directed the minister to remove her from the post, he added.