Thiruvananthapuram: The Congress party in Kerala on Thursday cried foul over the appointment of a CPI-M leader, who lost the Lok Sabha polls, with 'Cabinet rank' status in Delhi to liaison with the Centre.
Reacting to the Cabinet decision of the Pinarayi Vijayan-led Left government appointing three-time former Lok Sabha member of the CPI-M, A. Sampath as the state government's representative in Delhi, Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala told IANS that this was a needless appointment, especially at a time when the state is passing through a tough time financially.
"What has come as a shock was that the appointment was made the day when the Kerala government started collecting a one per cent flood cess which will be used for rebuilding Kerala after last year's floods. This new appointment is going to increase the financial burden of the state, as there is already a full fledged set-up in Delhi where a senior IAS officer is already doing this job," said Chennithala.
State Congress chief Mullapally Ramachandran said that this appointment smacks of extravagance.
Starting from Thursday, prices of 928 items ranging from electronic items to building materials and others which are included in the categories higher than five per cent in the GST slab will cost one per cent more in Kerala.
This will go towards the flood cess, which will be used for rebuilding Kerala after last year's floods wreaked havoc in the state. Basic food items are excluded from the list.
Chennithala added that already the financial situation of the state is precariously placed as the state government is engaged in borrowing from every available source.
Sampath, who was aiming for a hat trick of wins from the Attingal Lok Sabha constituency in the state capital district suffered a shock defeat to Congress legislator Adoor Prakash.
Soon after the weekly Cabinet meeting, the office of Vijayan had informed that Sampath has been appointed as the special representative of the Kerala government in Delhi.
"The rank will be on par with the benefits of a state minister and he would be given an office and five staff members," said the statement issued by Vijayan's office.
Reacting to his appointment Sampath said that several state governments have such a post and he will take up the post for the people of Kerala.