Kerala assembly | File photo: Mathrubhumi
Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Assembly on Thursday unanimously passed a bill that repeals a law, which entrusted the appointments made to the State Waqf Board, to the Public Service Commission (PSC).
The State Cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, had approved a draft Bill on Wednesday to withdraw the Bill passed by the Assembly last year seeking to hand over recruitment to the Waqf Board to the PSC.
After the minister made a single-line presentation, Speaker M B Rajesh put the bill for voting and the House passed it unanimously.
There was no discussion with the Congress-led UDF opposition also supporting it as the roll back of the decision was their long-pending demand.
Leader of opposition V D Satheesan termed the government's decision to repeal the bill that left the Waqf appointments to the PSC as "victory of the opposition."
The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), a UDF ally, strongly demanded its withdrawal and the other parties in the opposition front including the Congress extended full support to them, he said.
"It is the victory of the struggle waged by the UDF inside and outside the Assembly," he added.
Handing over Waqf board appointments to PSC would cause similar issues if the Devaswom Board appointments were to be entrusted to the recruitment agency, he pointed out.
That is why the UDF had demanded a special system for Waqf appointments, the leader added.
Last month, the Left government announced that it would not go ahead with its earlier decision to entrust the appointments made to the State Waqf Board to the PSC and said a "new system" would be introduced for the recruitment of deserving job aspirants.
Announcing the decision in the Assembly, the CM had said considering the concerns raised by the Muslim outfits in this regard, his government decided to amend the existing law to bring in the new system for the Waqf Board recruitments.
In November last year, the Vijayan government entrusted the PSC with the task of making appointments to the State Waqf Board, deviating from the years-long practice in the past.
Earlier, the Waqf Board used to make appointments to all the posts under the Waqf Act, 1995.
As the issue led to a controversy, the Chief Minister, in December 2021, held talks with leaders of Samastha Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulama.