Even after the 'removal' of Jacob Thomas IPS as the chief of Kerala Vigilance and Anti-corruption Bureau (VACB), the grumble among top bureaucrats will continue to create headaches for the Left Democratic Front (LDF). 

 

Just days before Jacob Thomas was asked to go on leave, effectively removing him as the Chief of the VACB, he had shot a letter to the state government against appointing retired government officials in top posts. The letter was apparently a preemptive strike at former Chief Secretary SM Vijayanand, who is widely rumoured to get a high post in Kerala government. If retired officials were given re-appointment, the criteria should be applicable to all, Thomas wrote.

 

The rivalry between Jacob Thomas and IAS officers' lobby had gone out of hand a few months back with the latter threatening to go on strike. But the problems in the top bureaucracy in the state remain even as the government considers a replacement for Thomas as the VACB chief. Reports say that the government would find it difficult to find a new officer for the post as top IPS officers are reluctant to occupy the hot seat.

 

Meanwhile, former DGP TP Senkumar is fighting a legal battle in the Supreme Court against his removal as the state police chief just after the LDF assumed power in the state. The SC is expected to pronounce its verdict in the case on 10 April. If the verdict goes against the government, it would   further complicate things for Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. His reinstatement would unsettle the balance in the bureaucracy and would necessitate a reshuffle in the top.  

 

Meanwhile, police chief Loknath Behra, who is currently holding the extra charge of the VACB said that it was only a temporary post and he would hand over the charge when Jacob Thomas returned after a month’s leave.