The Left Democratic Front (LDF) government in poll-bound Kerala has decided not to press ahead with regularisation of temporary employees – or those allegedly close to the ruling dispensation or are its cronies – in government jobs even as it decided to create more vacancies in the Health and Revenue departments.

Wednesday’s decision comes in the context of long-drawn protests of rank holders of the Public Service Commission (PSC) in front of the government Secretariat against the ritualistic practice of grant of a spate of regularisations of temporary staff ‘over their rightful claims’ with a clear eye on impending Assembly elections.

‘Welcome move’

The protesters said that they welcomed the delayed response from the government to their well-documented plight, but representatives of agitating Last Grade Service aspirants said they would not give up until the Chief Minister hears them out.

The State Cabinet which met on Wednesday decided to create 151 posts of teachers in higher secondary schools; 3,000 under the Health Department; 772 in the Government Medical College at Pariyaram; 1,200 in the Directorate of Health Services; 200 in AYUSH; and 728 under the Education Department, among others.

‘No politics involved’

Representatives of PSC rank holders and Last Grade Service aspirants demanded that the government must recruit at least one from every five rank holders into the emerging vacancies. It is not as if they are against temporary appointments but what hurts is the indefinite extension leading to regularisation.

They said there was no politics involved in the manner in which they have sustained their protests in front of the Secretariat from January 26, but it was the core issue of survival that had forced them on to the streets.

Tremendous pressure had been brought on the government with Opposition Congress and the BJP making common cause with the protestors and hogging the headlines ahead of formal declaration of Assembly elections expected anytime. The Congress had made the issue a rallying point in the Kerala Yathra being piloted by Ramesh Chennithala, Leader of Opposition. The BJP is expected to take up its own yatra soon.