Move to appoint CPM leader's wife at Kannur varsity appears to be case of nepotism: Khan

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Arif Mohammad Khan | Photo: Mathrubhumi

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan on Thursday criticised the Kannur University's move to appoint a CPI(M) leader's wife as an associate professor in its Malayalam Department, saying appointing a person who is not qualified appears to be a case of favouritism and nepotism.

A day after the Governor, in his capacity as chancellor of the university, stayed the controversial appointment of Pirya Varghese, wife of CPI(M) leader K K Ragesh, Khan said late on Thursday, "It appears that the violation of the law has become the norm."

"The process of the appointment... it appears to be a case of favouritism and nepotism. A person who is not qualified to be appointed as an assistant professor on prima facie is being appointed because she is spouse of the secretary to the chief minister. This is political. There is absolutely no doubt," he told reporters in New Delhi.

Khan also slammed the university vice chancellor's reported decision to challenge his action in the court, indicating that amounts to insubordination and indiscipline.

"A subordinate officer of the institution can go against the head of the institution... whether it amounts to insubordination, it amounts to indiscipline... I have not checked with the legal experts," the Governor said responding to a query.

Varghese had been proposed to be appointed as an associate professor in the Malayalam Department by Kannur University, which triggered a huge political row as she had the lowest research score but the highest in the interview round and was declared first in the selection process.

Justifying the Governor's action to stay the proposed appointment, Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, V D Satheesan, said Khan had actually used his power to prevent the Kannur University's attempt to make an illegal appointment. PTI

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