Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is possibly in two minds at this very moment: Should he be proud or should he be exasperated?
The source of his dilemma is a memo issued on Saturday, February 3, by one of his principal secretaries to state government employees at the state Secretariat who arrived late for work in January 2018.
Vijayan, the Stalinist leader who heads the Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala, has managed to crush opposition from the notoriously unionised government employees at the administrative nerve centre and implement a biometric attendance marking system.
The system came into effect on January 1, 2018, and following through, this month the government issued show-cause notices to hundreds of employees at the Secretariat who turned up late for work last month.
Interestingly, Bishwanath Sinha — the IAS officer who issued the memo — is also on the list of late-comers. He turned up late on the first day of the year, and on two more days, according to the list accompanying the notice. The list, seen by IBT India, runs to several hundred pages, and names a few other IAS officers.
Sinha now is in the awkward position of having to reply to his own show-cause notice and explain why was late not once but three times last month. He arrived almost an hour after the designated office time of 10:15 am on January 28 and more than an hour late on January 23.
It now remains to be seen how Sinha responds to his own show-cause notice, and we are not the only ones keeping an eye out for it.
Many officials on the late-comers' list are waiting to see whatever explanation Sinha gives so they can use it to explain their own lack of punctuality.
IBT India emailed Sinha, the principal secretary with Kerala's General Administrative Department, for his comments on the show-cause notice but has not got a reply because of the Sunday holiday. This article will be updated with his comments as and when it is received.