Six months after CPM Central Committee (CC) member EP Jayarajan was forced to resign as Kerala Industries Minister after allegations of appointing his relatives in key posts of public sector units, the Communist party has admitted that it was indeed a lapse. The party, however, decided to 'warn' Jayarajan and another CC member PK Sreemathi MP for their 'mistakes.' Warning, in the terminology of the CPM, is the mildest form of reprimand.
 

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It should be noted that the party decided to give the mildest punishment of 'warning' to the senior party members after long deliberations at the state level and at the CC and after the corruption-free image of Pinarayi Vijayan government took a beating.  The state secretariat of the CPM had submitted a report on the nepotism allegations.
 

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 The CC discussed the matter related to the appointment of certain persons and found that the senior comrades EP Jayarajan and PK Sreemathi erred on the matter. The previous CC meeting held at Thiruvananthapuram had sought a report from the state committee, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury told media persons in New Delhi on Wednesday afternoon.  “The comrades also submitted explanations in which they admitted their mistakes. After considering the state committee report and the letters by the comrades, the party decided to warn them,” he added.
 

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The Pinarayi Vijayan government had hardly completed six months in power when the nepotism row marred the honeymoon of the left government which came to power promising corruption free governance. Jayarajan invited sharp criticism from the party and from the opposition for appointing his nephew and son of PK Sreemathi as the Managing Director of the public sector Kerala State Industrial Enterprises (KSIE). When the news broke on nepotism in top postings, Jayarajan put up a brave face and told journalists that they have no business whatsoever in the appointments in his department. But soon, the Industries Department tried to save its face by cancelling the posting. Much to the embarrassment of the Left leadership, numerous cases of favoritism by party leaders and ministers tumbled out of the closet after this.   Another relative of Jayarajan also found posted as the manager in Kerala Clays and Ceramic Products Limited soon after the ministry took oath. Both the appointments were scrapped later.

 

Jayarajan had admitted his mistake in the appointments and put in his papers after a week-long controversy in last October.