A few journalists have apologised

Ex-Kerala minister shows proof he never asked for free teakwood were news reports wrong
news Kerala Politics Saturday, October 22, 2016 - 18:24

After nepotism row, former Kerala industries minister EP Jayarajan was once again in the news over an allegation that he asked the state’s forest minister to provide teak wood free of cost for the renovation of his family temple.

The news was broken by Malayalam media house Mathrubhumi on Friday and said that Jayarajan had made such a request on his own letter pad. The report said that Jayarajan had asked teakwood in the construction of a flag post in the Bhagavathi temple at Irinavu Chuzhali in Kannur district.

But later Jayarajan came up with an explanation that the temple doesn’t belong to his family that it is owned by Devaswom board. He also claimed that he had received a petition from temple authorities seeking wood free of cost and he just forwarded the petition to the forest minister.

“Irinavu is the place where I grew up. Is it wrong for me as a minister to receive a memorandum from temple authorities for renovation work?”, he asked the media in his statement.

Later the original petition was released by the Irinavu temple committee and it was revealed that that the letter had been written on temple’s letter pad, and not the minister’s as alleged.

Moreover, it was also proven that the temple was owned by the Malabar Devaswom board, and not by Jayarajan’s family.

Though few media reports claimed that Jayarajan asked for Rs 50 crores towards renovation, the letter pegs the cost at Rs 1 crore.

“It is very difficult to arrange this money and so we you request to allot the wood free of cost,” it reads.

The controversy had already been titled ‘teak wood row’, though the letter only mentions wood and not teak in particular.

Apart from news reports, Mathrubhumi newspaper also carried a cartoon by cartoonist Gopikrishnan claiming that the temple was Jayarajan’s family property.

However, Gopikrishnan has reportedly apologised for drawing the cartoon based on wrong information.

“I apologise. I used to draw cartoons based on news stories. I have not alleged in the cartoon that it was any kind of scam,” Gopikrishnan was reported as saying.

A post by another Mathrubhumi journalist criticising his own organisation has however been deleted.

EP Jayarajan, had recently quit the cabinet following a nepotism row.



Show us some love and support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.