THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A day after around 42 revenue officials of the Konni Taluk office in Pathanamthitta district went on a mass leave, security was tightened around office premises on Monday fearing protest from locals and some political parties.
According to the staff, the matter snowballed into a major controversy after the local CPI(M) legislator K.U.Jenish Kumar created a scene and highlighted their leave.
What irked the civil society was that of the 63 officials, as many as 42 had gone on a pleasure trip of which only 19 had applied for leave. On learning about it, the MLA reached the office and checked the attendance register and inquired about the leave status. This irked the employees and the Unions who alleged that Kumar was trying to create a scene for no reason.
The MLA also spoke to state Revenue Minister K. Rajan who assured action against the wrong-doers. The district collector has been asked to submit a detailed report latest by Tuesday. Meanwhile, the trade unions are maintaining that since leave is the right of an employee, the incident should be blown out of proportion.
But, former Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary P.C.Cyriac said as per government rules, leave is never a right of the employee as is being said now."A government employee is primarily responsible for his job and one applies for a leave to the higher authorities and leave may or may not be sanctioned," said Cyriac.
With the controversy gathering steam and TV channels taking it up for debates, the employees are also upset as they sense a public ire against them.
To make things worse, social activist Dijo Kappen pointed out that none should forget that all the state government employees got their full salary and allowances during the Covid pandemic, when millions were faced with managing families with salary cuts.
"So the government employees should always be grateful to the common man and be committed to their job and behave well with those who visit government offices for some service," said Kappen.
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