- EP Jayarajan's resignation comes after a week-long controversy.
- The Vigilance had ordered a probe against the minister.
- Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan took a stern stand against corruption leading to the minister's exit.
Kerala CPM’s strong man and Central Committee member of the party EP Jayarajan had a disgraceful exit on Friday from the Pinarayi Vijayan ministry before the Left government completed five months in power. Jayarajan, who handled Industries and Sports portfolios in the ministry, put in his papers after more than a week-long controversy over nepotism that dented the image of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) and the Left government that came to power with a massive mandate and with a promise of corruption-free governance.
The state secretariat of the CPM held a special sitting in Kerala capital on Friday to decide on the future of the minister who brought shame to the government in its honeymoon period. "At the meeting, Jayarajan confessed that he made a mistake by posting his close relative in a key post under Industries Department. He requested the secretariat to put in his papers to avoid further embarrassment for the party and the government. The party decided to allow him to resign," said CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan after the meeting.
Parallel to the party meeting, the Vigilance Court in Kerala considered petitions demanding probe against the minister. The Vigilance and Anti-corruption Bureau (VACB) had decided to probe all controversial postings of the kith and kin of ministers and leaders with retrospective effect.
Ahead of the party meet, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had stated that corruption would not be tolerated, giving an indirect message to his cabinet colleague. "We cannot ignore complaints of corruption, in particular against those who are supposed to guard against it. The corrupt would be dealt with sternly," he said at the passing out parade of the new batch of police cadets at Thiruvananthapuram.
Jayarajan invited sharp criticism from the party and from the opposition for appointing his nephew as the Managing Director of the public sector Kerala State Industrial Enterprises (KSIE). When the news broke on favouritism in top postings, Jayarajan put up a brave face and told journalists that they have no business whatsoever in the appointments. 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 favouritism by party leaders and ministers tumbled out of the closet.
Jayarajan, who is known as the close aide of Chief Minister and a powerful leader of the CPM, became the butt of ridicule on social media platforms. Netizens vent their anger by mocking Jayarajan's love for his nephew and relatives. Under criticism from all corners, the CPM available Politburo directed the state leadership to take immediate action on the minister and to come clear on the charges of corruption.
• Son of BM Krishna Nambiar and EP Parvathi Amma.
• Born on 28 May 1950
• First national president of the Democratic Youth Federation of India, the youth wing of the CPM.
• General Manager of the Deshabhimani, the CPM mouthpiece.
• Central Committe member of the CPM.
• Represents Mattannur constituency in Kerala Assembly. He was elected to the assembly thrice before in 1991, 1996 and 2011.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:58 PM IST