Senior CPI (M) member EP Jayarajan was sworn-in as a minister in the Pinarayi Vijayan cabinet on Tuesday. His re-induction into the cabinet comes nearly two years after he was forced to step down.
The CPI (M) central committee member took oath as the Minister for Industries, Youth and Sports at a low-key ceremony held in Thiruvananthapuram at 10 am on Tuesday. The low-key ceremony in the wake of the state reeling under floods, with Governor P Sathasivam administering the oath had Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and other ministers of the government present.
The ceremony lasted not more than five minutes at the Raj Bhavan in the state capital. Following the oath-taking ceremony, other ministers including VS Sunil Kumar, Thomas Isaac, AK Saseendran and others walked up to the stage to congratulate EP Jayarajan.
Jayarajan, who had earlier in 2016 stepped down following nepotism allegations against him, was inducted back into the cabinet after the CPI(M) state secretariat on Friday gave the nod. On Monday, a meeting of the Left Front also approved his re-induction to the cabinet.
He had stepped down on October 14, 2016, just four months after becoming a minister, following charges that he appointed close relatives to top posts in a state-run PSU. The nepotism row in which Jayarajan was embroiled in surfaced in October 2016, and deals with the out-of-turn appointment of his nephew Sudheer Nambiar as the Managing Director of Kerala State Industrial Enterprise during his tenure as Minister. Sudheer is the son of Kannur MP and CPI(M) party veteran PK Sreemathi who is Jayarajanâ€™s sister. He was later acquitted of all charges.
The Opposition, however, boycotted the swearing-in ceremony. Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala had earlier criticised the decision to bring Jayarajan back into the cabinet, calling it "political immorality."