E.P. Jayarajan, who quit as Industries Minister on Thursday, found himself virtually isolated at the crucial CPI(M) State secretariat meeting where he announced his readiness to resign.
Both Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Communist Party of India [CPI(M)] State unit secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan had told Mr. Jayarajan on Thursday that he would have no other option but to resign given the stern stand taken by the party’s national leadership and the possibility of the Opposition taking advantage of the situation.
By Thursday evening, Mr. Jayarajan too was resigned to the prospect of his having to step down. According to persons who met him later in the day, though he still put up a brave front in front of those who called on him, it was clear that the sense of isolation was dawning on him quite strongly.
When the party secretariat met exclusively to discuss the charges against him, Mr. Balakrishnan briefed the secretariat members on party general secretary Sitaram Yechury’s stand on the issue, underscored the gravity of the charges against Mr. Jayarajan and the party’s perception about the political fallout it could have if left unaddressed seriously. Intervening, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the options were limited for the party and Mr. Jayarajan.
Speaking at the meeting, Mr. Jayarajan admitted that there was an error of judgement on his part. The controversial appointment should have been avoided. He did not think seriously about the possibility of the appointment, triggering charges of nepotism. He was not one to cling on to power and wished to erase the shame that his action had brought to the party and the government, he said, and added that he was ready to put in his papers.
Nobody who spoke defended Mr. Jayarajan. Some were also critical of his sister-in-law and fellow Central committee member P.K. Sreemathy, whose son he had appointed as MD of KSIE. Ms. Sreemathy admitted that she had erred.