Thiruvananthapuram: The Chairman and Managing Director of KSEB, B Ashok, has been transferred to the Ministry of Agriculture as Secretary. Rajan Khobragade will become the new president of KSEB.
Following the clash that erupted between the KSEB employee unions and Ashok, the government was reportedly pressured to remove him from his post. The cabinet convened Wednesday had decided to transfer Ashok. Later, the order on this was issued on Thursday.
B Ashok and the KSEB Pro-Left Officers Association (KSEBOA), recently engaged in a skirmish. Ashok was appointed to KSEB only a year ago. Several measures he adopted as a result of this had provoked the unions. Ashok transferred and suspended several officers sparking widespread protests.
In April this year, the CPM state leadership intervened in the case to settle the issues as the association called for an indefinite sit-in strike in front of Vydhuthi Bhavan. Former minister AK Balan who had managed portfolios including that of electricity spoke with Krishnankutty. Council decisions, including the suspension of individuals who organized protests, had raised eyebrows among CPM leaders.
Deadlock broke out over the suspension of executive engineer Jasmin Banu. The High Court had revoked the suspension. But Ashok transferred her to another position.
MG Sureshkumar (president) and B Harikumar (secretary) of the association were suspended for “barging into the president’s conference and raising allegations”. The council had decided to take strict action against 20 other officials for the same thing.
Electricity Minister Krishnankutty struggled to control the dispute. The union and the KSEB reached a consensus after several rounds of talks.