E.P. Jayarajan, the 'Capitalist' face of the Kerala CPM resigned from the Left government in Kerala on Friday following allegations of nepotism. He was also a 'true blue comrade' who was almost killed by political opponents. It is these contradictions that made E.P. – as he is known in the party circles – the virtual number two in the Left government till this controversy broke out.
Jayarajan got mired in the controversy for appointing his own family members as heads of public sector undertakings in the state. While he appointed his nephew Sudhir Nambiar as the MD of the Kerala State Industrial Enterprises, his niece Deepti Nishad, a graduate, was appointed as the general manager of Clays and Ceramics Products Limited.
It was these blatant acts of nepotism or a 'faux pas' as those close to him insist–that resulted in the fall of Jayarajan. Though Jayarajan is considered very close to CM Pinarayi Vijayan, the latter steered clear of the controversy from the very beginning by taking a public stand against the appointments.
The national leadership also put pressure on the state leadership, which is totally under the control of the Kannur unit, to take corrective measures to make up the dented image of the party. With the other constituents in the LDF too putting pressure on the CPM state leadership, it was left with not many options.
That things are not going in Jayarajan's favour was clear when the party asked Jayarajan to submit a list of appointments that had taken place in his ministry.
CPM, however, decided to use the resignation to outscore the opposition Congress by juxtaposing the resignation with that of the corruption allegations during the previous government. State secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, announcing Jayarajan’s resignation said, “Jayarajan has upheld the integrity of government and the party with his timely action. This clearly shows our party is different from others.”
Also the fact that Kodiyeri used to occasion to highlight the 'sacrifices' made by Jayarajan as a 'rue comrade' gives clear indication that E.P. is here to stay despite the resignation.
“What E.P. did was a faux pas because of his inexperience and he paid the price. But it does not mean that E.P. is finished. He has survived despite being shot from point blank. He will survive,'' said a party leader close to him.
Jayarajan had always been good at courting controversies with his 'care a damn' attitude. Even ministership could not make any change to it. His recent tryst with news was when he said that boxing legend Muhammad Ali “was an athlete who had earned fame for Kerala by bringing Olympic medals”. This was when one of the reporters of a TV channel had called him to get a response when the boxing legend had died.