Kerala Industries Minister E.P. Jayarajan on his way out

October 14, 2016 12:37 am | Updated December 01, 2016 05:37 pm IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

: Industries Minister E.P. Jayarajan appears to be on his way out of the Pinarayi Vijayan Cabinet with the CPI(M) Central leadership taking a stern stand on the allegations of nepotism against him and the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) deciding to initiate a Quick Verification (QV) of the charges.

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury is understood to have told the State party leadership in no unmistakable terms that there should be stringent action in the matter so that the dented image of the party and the government could be restored. He was also of the view that the decision is best taken at the State level without any direct intervention from the party’s national leadership. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is also stated to be unhappy with the turn of events, but wants the party State secretariat to discuss the issue threadbare and arrive at a decision.

Mr. Vijayan was closeted with party State secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan at the AKG Centre here for nearly an hour on Thursday.

Earlier, at the weekly Cabinet meeting, the Chief Minister had cut short Mr. Jayarajan’s attempt to explain his side of the story and more or less made his stand on the nepotism question clear by posting on his Facebook page that the Chief Secretary has been asked to examine the allegations of nepotism.

His use of the word ‘nepotism’ in the post and the Cabinet decision to go in for a legislation to prevent nepotism seemed to suggest admission of wrongdoing on the part of Mr. Jayarajan.

When contacted in the evening, Mr. Balakrishnan was non-committal about the course of action the party had in mind.

“We are yet to hold any discussion on the issue,” he said and added that a formal discussion on the subject would take place only at the party State secretariat meeting on Friday.

Asked if there was any specific directive from the party national leadership, he said there was none.

“What is the need for any such intervention when we have already made it known that we will be discussing the issue here on Friday? These are issues that can be discussed and decided at the State level,” he said.

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