Will Jayarajan, a senior party member, be okay to sit out of the ministry till the end of the term?

Jayarajans exit What went wrong for the Kannur strongman and what lies ahead
news Analysis Friday, October 14, 2016 - 20:10

Kerala’s Industries Minister and CPI (M) central committee member EP Jayarajan resigned from the CPI (M)-led LDF ministry on Friday. This comes only days after the Kannur strong man found himself in controversy over the appointment of his nephew to a top position in a PSU.

Hailing from the Pappinassery village in Kannur, Jayarajan is a grass root leader groomed by two Left leaders- MV Raghavan and Pinarayi Vijayan.

From the time of Raghavan’s ouster from the party in 1986, Jayarajan has been close to Pinarayi Vijayan.

Over the years his clout in Kannur district and in the party has grown, and Jayarajan is no stranger to controversies. While he was General Manager of the party’s mouthpiece Deshabhimani, Jayarajan was in trouble for accepting Rs 2 crore donation from lottery kingpin Santiago Martin.

After taking charge as minister and being called the no.2 man in Pinarayi’s cabinet, Jayarajan was in one soup or the other.

Though CPI(M) inner circles knew that the Chief Minister was unhappy with the way Jayarajan who also handled the Sports portfolio had handled Olympian Anju George, the CM quietly backed his man.

But this time the option to let Jayarajan stay was a non-existent one as far as Pinarayi was concerned.

Allegations against Jayarajan had risen from within the party too, mainly from the Kannur faction, where his political career spanning across five decades had flourished.

A Kannur-based party member asserted that the political landscape of Kannur will remain unaffected post EP Jayarajan’s resignation.

“The allegations were against an action, and was not a personal attack on Jayarajan. And so, the Kannur movement cannot be seriously affected by it. The fact that the allegations first arose from within the party is itself proof of that,” the party member said.

But will Jayarajan, a senior party member, be okay to sit out of the ministry till the end of the term? Would Pinarayi face rebellion at some point of time?

Unlikely, says a senior party member.

“Jayarajan’s resignation could not have come without consultations with the Chief Minister. The CM cannot take him back in the ministry, but after sometime he could be given a bigger post within the party. His stature in the party will not diminish with this incident,” the senior member told TNM.

MN Pierson, a political analyst says that the resignation was due to Jayarajan’s blunders.

“Jayarajan should have understood the current situation and especially the CM’s predicament,” he says.

“EP Jayarajan remains to be a leader who abides by the party norms. Apart from some of his statements that invited internet trolls and the talks by the opposition deliberately trying to malign the government, there is no question of loss of face for the party or the government. In fact, what is commendable is that manner in which the state government handled nepotism allegation against one of its ministers. The will to address the issue is what should be taken into consideration. Appointments to PSUs will now be supervised by the vigilance,” another Kannur party member pointed out.

While CPI (M) and the state government sees the resignation as a damage control mechanism at “setting things right,” political analysts feel that the state government must not use the corruption of the UDF government as an excuse.

“The errors committed by the Congress-led UDF government cannot be used as an excuse for the communist party. Congress is a party that does not have any normal political dealings apart from supporting nepotism. Being a cadre party, the CPI (M) is not supposed to do that. The resignation of EP Jayarajan could be read as something which the CPI (M) has planned to salvage the image of the party and the government,” senior journalist and political analyst KA Antony opined.

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