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Kerala Industries Minister Jayarajan offers to resign

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on October 13, 2016

Kerala Industries Minister EP Jayarajan is understood to have offered to resign from the four-month-old Pinarayi Vijayan government in the context of charges of nepotism against him.

The minister revealed his mind to Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, secretary of the state unit of the CPI(M), even before a formal demand to do so comes from the party.

Balakrishnan is in turn reported to have met Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan this morning and held discussions on how to deal with the emerging situation.

The state vigilance and anti-corruption bureau is proceeding to open quick verification into the charges against Jayarajan, a party strongman from Kannur and close confidante of the Chief Minister.

But the party does not want a situation to look like as if action has been precipitated solely because of the vigilance procedure. Hence the haste to arrive at a decision and time it out suitably.

Separately, there are moves to divest the industries portfolio from Jayarajan and assign him with a less important one, which would allow him to continue in the Cabinet in some capacity.

Ruling Left Democratic Front coalition partners Janata Dal (S) and the NCP have already demanded the resignation of the embattled minister.

Meanwhile, a meeting of the State Cabinet that met this morning has decided to bring strict guidelines in appointments to the government.

Care will be taken to avoid appointment of relatives of ministers to key positions. A separate board of appointments will be set up to ensure this. Appropriation legislation is also being considered.

Published on October 13, 2016
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