CPI(M) leader and former Kerala industries minister EP Jayarajan, who recently quit the cabinet following an appointment row, has courted yet another controversy by reportedly seeking free teakwood from the Forest Department for the renovation of a temple in Kannur district.
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He made the request to make available a certain quantity of teakwood for the purpose to state Forest Minister K Raju, who forwarded it to the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, sources said.
However, the Forest Minister informed Jayarajan that there was no scheme to provide free teakwood to private temples and agencies, they said.
The teakwood Jayarajan asked for was for construction of a flag post of the Bhagavathi temple at Irinavu Chuzhali near Pappinissery, the sources said.
Jayarajan, the CPI(M) strongman from Kannur district, had landed in trouble recently for allegedly posting some of his relatives to plum posts in public sector units and resigned as the state Industries Minister on October 14.
Reacting to the development, Jayarajan refuted reports that temple belonged to his family.
“I just forwarded to the Forest Minister a memorandum received from the temple authorities in this regard,” he said.
“Irinavu is the place where I grew up. Is it a big mistake as a minister to receive a memorandum from a temple authorities for renovation work?”, he asked.
The CPI(M) leader alleged that there was a “conspiracy” to tarnish his image and wanted the media to “introspect” whether it suited the principles of “ethical reporting”.
Meanwhile, the temple authorities clarified that the shrine was under the Malabar Devaswom Board.