Facing opposition fire over appointment of relatives of ministers in the state government to plum posts in PSUs, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan Sunday admitted it was a ‘serious’ issue and an appropriate decision would be taken in the matter soon.
“The party will discuss the matter and take an appropriate decision,’’ said the CM.
The opposition has been gunning for Industries Minister E P Jayarajan over the appointments. Jayarajan, a close confidant of Vijayan, appointed his relative Sudheer Nambiar, the son of senior CPM leader and Kannur MP, P K Sreemathi, as the managing director of Kerala State Industrial Enterprises. He also appointed his nephew’s wife as the general manager of another PSU, Clay and Ceramics Limited. Apart from these, two other appointments in the industries department went to his relatives. Under fire, Jayarajan was forced to cancel the appointment of Nambiar later. Similarly, the Industries department appointed the late CPM Chief Minister E K Nayanar’s grandson, Sooraj Raveendran, as the chief of Kinfra Film and Video Park, and party state secretariat member Anathalavattam Anandan’s son, Jeev, as the managing director of Kinfra Apparel Park.
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Also, party leader Koliyakkodu Krishnan Nair’s son, Unnikrishnan, was made a general manager in Kinfra.
Meanwhile, in another twist Sunday, Sreemathi dragged in Vijayan in the issue related to the posting of her daughter-in-law as a personal assistant when she was a minister during the previous LDF regime.
“I remained silent on the issue for last 10 years with an intention that the party should not be hurt. The party secretary (then Pinarayi Vijayan) informed about the party’s decision that a minister can appoint three persons of his or her choice. With the consent (of the party secretary), I appointed my daughter-in-law in my staff. Later, she was promoted. When it became a controversy, she resigned as per the party directive,” said Sreemathi in a Facebook post.
Vijayan rejected Sreemathi’s contention. “The party came to know about that posting only when she was promoted,” he said.
Within the party, Jayarajan and Sreemathi have been staunch supporters of Vijayan over the years when he took on CPM veteran V S Achuthanandan. However, the appointment controversy has pitted Vijayan against Jayarajan and Sreemathi for the first time.