The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu J Jayalalithaa took some serious action to suspend the school education minister of his duties on Teacher’s day. Vaigaichelvan was also removed from the cabinet of ministers. He was supposed to attend a function at a school in the state. It was just before that when this news hit him. It was an embarrassing moment for the minister. Palaniappan was asked to take charge of his duties. P Palaniappan who is the minister for higher education in the state was appointed by the CM to fill the spot of the axed school minister.
State of affairs:
In two years this is the 9th time that the minister for this post has been removed. This is an indication that the CM will not tolerate any kind of nuisance in the matters related to the education of the state. There was official news from the Raj Bhavan that the minister was relieved of his duties because of a recommendation from the CM. There were no other reasons specified by the government behind the suspension of the Minister.
What lead to the suspension?
There were complaints from the education department officials in the High Court. They complained that some of the posts of the watchmen and the sweepers in schools were not granted on merit or according to government rules and regulations. The posts were given to people who had recommendation letters from MLA’s and ministers of the state. The case in the High Court was a big embarrassment for the government and the CM. There is a provision that 3% of posts are selected for disabled candidates. A disabled candidate was not given the post and a person with a recommendation was given this post instead of him.
What sparked the move?
The hearing from the disabled candidate prompted the High Court to investigate the case. The investigation found that there were illegal methods used in the selection of the candidates for the post. A staff in the education department was called to speak on the matter. He agreed to the fact that the post were given on illegal terms and the rules and regulations laid by the government were not followed. He also mentioned that the Directorate was asked by higher officials to neglect the rules and select candidates who had recommendations from ministers and MLA’s.
What happened next?
For the sacked minister this was shocking news as he was preparing to attend a function. On the other hand the school where he was supposed to attend the function was worried. The program was on schedule and there was no sign of the chief guest. 30 minutes before the function P Palaniappan appeared as the chief guest. The program had to be dragged for another 45 minutes so that he could prepare his speech. There was no official record of the speech as the minister had to make it on his own in the dying minutes.