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Congress demands Kerala minister’s removal over nepotism charge

The Congress-led opposition in the Kerala Assembly on Monday demanded that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan remove Health Minister K.K. Shailaja, who is facing nepotism charges.

The Kerala High Court in its judgement last week observed that Shailaja had misused her office to appoint a member to the state Commission for Protection of Child Rights.

Congress legislator Shafi Parambil, seeking leave for an adjournment motion, pointed out that it was perhaps the first instance when a minister has continued in office, despite the court clearly stating misuse of power.

“This is not an observation, but a finding that has come in the final judgement,” Parambil said.

The minister had extended the final date of application to fill in members to the commission and people with doctorate in Child Rights were left out, the Congress member said.

“One of the persons appointed by the minister had applied after the date was extended… the judgement said this amounts to misuse of power, which incidentally is a violation of the oath of secrecy,” Parambil said.

Dismissing the opposition’s demand, Vijayan said the question of seeking the minister’s resignation “is ruled out”.