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Kerala Governor requests new Benz after personal staff row

Kerala Governor requests new Benz after personal staff row

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan has come under fire for his request for a new Mercedes Benz car totalling 85 lakhs at a time when he has been lambasting the state's minister's for employing too many personal staff at huge loss to the exchequer.

The Governor has issued instructions to collect details of the total number of staff in Raj Bhavans of other states. The Kerala Governor's office had 157 staff. After the appointment of Hari S Kartha as the Additional PA, it rose to 158.

The reason given for the new car was that any VVIP security vehicle should be replaced once it had done a service of 1 lakh kilometres. The governor's car has crossed 1.5 lakh kilometres according to the request, which has come to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vinayan's desk.

Governor Khan had directed the Chief Secretary to suspend the pension scheme for the personal staff of ministers two days earlier, pointing out that personal staff employed on a co-termination basis in any other state are not eligible for pension benefit. He said that the staff were looting tax money of the people and this system would be abolished within a month.

"The aim of these appointments are political. The appointees resign after two years in office and are replaced by new ones. Here the only goal is pension benefits. Later, these staff will resume work for the party," he said, noting that it was habitual for pension to be granted once service of these staff had crossed only two years.

He stated that the issue was brought to the attention of the chief minister before his opening address in the state assembly. It was brought to the notice of the Chief Minister. Itis the duty of the Governor to ensure that the decisions of the government are in accordance with the Constitution. I am only responsible for giving an explanation to the President, he added.

Former Minister M.M Mani had hit out at the governor, calling him a headache for the government and the state.

"Arif Mohammad Khan joined BJP after leaving five other parties. That's how he became governor. Now, he is saying things that are nonsense," Mani said last Friday. The pensions were payed form the treasury and not from his family account, the minister jibed.

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TAGS:ControversyKerala GovernorKerala GovernmentPersonal staff row
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