As hectic parleys began in the CPI-M's Kerala unit on tackling the controversy over nepotism charges against state Industries Minister E.P.Jayarajan, the Congress on Wednesday said that it will not rest till he quits.
It has now surfaced that a number of relatives of senior Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leaders got jobs in public sector organisations and as government pleaders with Jayarajan alone appointing two of his close relatives in top posts, despite their not having the required qualifications.
Addressing reporters here after a meeting of the party's political affairs committee, state Congress President V.M.Sudheeran said Jayarajan has to quit and if he does not, he has to be ousted from the post.
"Kerala is shocked to hear about the manner in which all rules was flouted when appointments were made. The CPI-M says corrective measures would be taken and the need of the hour is not an action taken by the party, but Jayarajan should be removed as minister as he has violated the oath of secrecy.
"What all did they say about our governance and the way they highlighted corruption and see in just four months the face of the Pinarayi Vijayan government has taken a severe beating," he said.
The Congress also decided to raise the issue on the floor of the assembly when it resumes its sitting on Monday after the Puja break and has decided not to settle for anything less than the removal of Jayarajan.
Earlier on Wednesday, Jayarajan met CPI-M state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan. Emerging out of the hour-long meeting, Jayarajan did not say a word to the waiting media. Chief Minister Vijayan also ducked media queries on the future of Jayarajan.
Meanwhile, the niece of Jayarajan who was appointed general manager of a state public sector unit quit her post on Wednesday following the huge public outcry.
The next two days are going to be crucial for the CPI-M. The vigilance department is expected to announce its decision on Thursday if it will go ahead with a probe into the complaints of nepotism that have been made by the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party to vigilance director Jacob Thomas.
And on Friday, the 15-member state secretariat of the CPI-M is meeting here to decide on the Jayarajan issue. Relatives of five out of the 15 members have been appointed to government posts.