Ruckus continues over appointment of ex-MP’s wife.
The main campus of the Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit at Kalady in Kerala witnessed protests by the Congress’s student wing for the second consecutive day on Saturday against the appointment of R. Ninitha, wife of M.B. Rajesh, former Palakkad MP of the CPI(M), as assistant professor in the department of Malayalam.
The day’s protests began with activists affiliated to the Ernakulam district unit of the Kerala Students’ Union (KSU) taking out a march to the main campus. The police had locked the gates leading to the administrative and academic blocks. The activists then climbed over the gates and rushed towards the office of Vice Chancellor Dharmarajan P.K. raising slogans alleging irregularities and nepotism in the appointment. However, the police stopped them from entering the office.
KSU activists alleged that the Vice Chancellor was protecting the interests of the CPI(M) by justifying Ms. Ninitha’s appointment. They also accused the Left Democratic Front government of speeding up backdoor appointments of its well-wishers ahead of the Assembly elections.
Ms. Ninitha’s appointment had sparked a row after one of the subject experts took to social media on Thursday, saying that “it was his first experience where the rank list had gone topsy-turvy.” Those who got the first two ranks were bypassed to choose Ms. Ninitha, he said. She was ranked first in the list of candidates in the Muslim category.
The Vice Chancellor had denied the charge, saying the selection process was transparent.
CPI(M) State committee member and R. Ninitha’s husband M.B. Rajesh alleged conspiracy by the three subject experts to favour a candidate known to them.
Speaking to The Hindu, he said Ms. Ninitha being employed close to home was not keen on appearing for the interview though she figured among the five of the 80 candidates shortlisted for it. “But then, some dishonest attempts were made to question her Ph.D, saying it was granted after the deadline for applying for the post was over. When this became unsuccessful, a letter signed by the three subject experts in question was brought to her notice by another person on the eve of the interview, primarily to put her under pressure. She was also asked not to appear for the interview. This is when she decided not to buckle under pressure. The very next day, she demanded an inquiry against the three experts by writing to the Vice Chancellor,” Mr. Rajesh said.
He added that the vested interests of the three subject experts pertaining to the interview should be investigated. “The onus is on the subject experts who are using it as a political weapon now to prove that they had no vested interests in the issue. Further, while the rules demand that the interviewers grade the candidates individually, they themselves admitted to taking a collective decision. That is collusion against a candidate in favour of someone else,” Mr. Rajesh said.