The Cabinet on Wednesday decided to order a vigilance enquiry into allegations of corruption and irregularities in the modernisation of Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited during the UDF rule.

Briefing the media, Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan said that the State Government had sought a CBI enquiry into the corruption and irregularities. However, the Centre had declined to institute the enquiry. Hence the Cabinet had decided to complete a vigilance enquiry within a specified time frame.

Mr. Achuthanandan announced that the State supported the Constitutional amendment to extend the reservation for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Anglo-Indians in the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies. A resolution would be brought in the next Assembly approving the amendment. (The amendment require ratification by at least half of the State Assemblies besides the Parliament).

He said that the services of a retired judge or district judge would be sought if the High Court could not spare a sitting judge for the probe into the boat tragedy at Thekkady last month.

Asked about the by-elections in Kerala, the Chief Minister said that a fight was there. However, the situation was different this time. He declined to elaborate, recalling the restrictions imposed by Election Commission.

Mr. Achuthanandan said that IAS officer P. P. Gopi would be appointed as Director of Social Welfare and Amit Malik as Director of Sports. V. K. Balakrishnan, who was recently removed as Collector of Kannur at the instance of the Election Commission, would be posted as Secretary to the Land Board.

IAS officer Tinku Biswal would be appointed as Director of Rashtriya Madhyama Siksha Abhiyan.

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