Nation Other News 29 Jul 2016 Agriculture director ...

Agriculture director Ashok Kumar sacked from post

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Jul 29, 2016, 2:02 am IST
Updated Jul 29, 2016, 7:22 am IST
Agriculture minister, secretary on mission to clean up ministry by removing officials accused of corruption
Ashok Kumar Thekkan
 Ashok Kumar Thekkan

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Agriculture minister V.S. Sunilkumar and his secretary Raju Narayana Swami are on a mission to bring back the old charm of the agriculture department. After Horticorp MD M. Suresh Kumar was shown the door, the next official to be removed is agriculture director Ashok Kumar Thekkan. The previous UDF government had tried to hide the vigilance inquiry against him for the purchase of fresh coconut.

Agriculture minister Sunilkumar informed that Mr Thekkan, director of agriculture department, has been removed from the post. He has being removed following the vigilance probe against him in connection with irregularities in the procurement of fresh coconut. The decision to remove Mr Thekkan was taken at the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. “It is not right to permit him to continue in the post as he is facing a vigilance probe,” Mr Sunilkumar said.

 

During the previous UDF rule, a probe was initiated against Mr Thekkan, who was alleged to be involved in discrepancies in coconut procurement at Kerafed as well as in importing inferior quality coconuts from other states and selling it here at an inflated price. Despite the vigilance department recommending action against Mr Thekkan, the previous UDF government swept it under the carpet and he himself was asked to file a report.

The tainted official gave a ‘clean chit’ to himself. Mr Thekkan was appointed during the 2006 LDF government by the then agriculture minister Mullakkara Ratnakaran. When the Oommen Chandy government came to power in 2011, he was allowed to continue.

 

An agriculture department official told this newspaper that despite the Public Undertaking (PU) section recommending that Mr Thekkan should not be appointed as agriculture director, K.P. Mohanan, agriculture minister during the previous UDF government, and G. Shaji, his private secretary bypassed it. “Minister Sunilkumar recalled the vigilance file and handed it over to CM who also recommended his removal,” said an agriculture department official.

Mr Thekkan had previously served as CEO of Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council and managing director of Kerala State Coconut Development Corporation Limited and Kerafed. Department official also told DC that additional director of agriculture, Sunil Kumar has been given the additional charge of agriculture director post.

 

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Location: India, Kerala




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