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Kerala Minister Jayarajan under vigilance lens as he readies to quit

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

EP Jayarajan, Kerala Industries Minister, in a file photo

The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau in Kerala has ordered a ‘quick verification’ into charges of nepotism against EP Jayarajan, State Industries Minister.

Earlier on Thursday, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had met with Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, secretary of the State CPI(M), in the backdrop of Jayarajan’s reported offer to resign.

The two are understood to have discussed the options available for the party and the government ahead of a crucial meeting of the party’s State secretariat that begins on Friday.

The Chief Minister had also met with Jacob Thomas, Director of the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau, when the latter briefed him about the legal opinion received in the matter.

Meanwhile, it is now becoming increasingly clear that Jayarajan may be left with little option other than to resign, after he appeared to lose the confidence of the Chief Minister and the party leadership. CPI(M) general secretary Sitharam Yechury has already gone on record saying that ‘corrective action is being taken in the matter’.

A final decision will be known when the State secretariat of the party meets on Friday; the order of vigilance proceedings against the Minister could well precipitate it. This represents the first major setback for the five-month-old Pinarayi Vijayan-led government.

New legislation

Meanwhile, a meeting of the State Cabinet that met this morning decided to bring strict guidelines while deciding on government appointments. This is intended to prevent the induction of relatives of Ministers to key positions.

A separate board of appointments will be set up to ensure this. An appropriation legislation is also being considered.

It is also being envisaged that clearance from the vigilance would need to be made available prior to recruitment to higher positions such as GM or MD.

Published on October 13, 2016
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