Updated: September 3, 2018 2:47:41 am
KERALA CHIEF Minister Pinarayi Vijayan Sunday left for the US for treatment at Mayo Clinic. Vijayan was slated to leave for the US on August 19, but the trip was postponed due to the flood situation.
Pinarayi’s private secretary M V Jayarajan said the chief minister has not handed over charge to any of his cabinet colleagues. “Since we have an e-file system, the chief minister would be examining relevant files from the US. However, Industries Minister E P Jayarajan would preside over Cabinet meetings, if any, in the absence of the chief minister.”
Jayarajan, a senior CPM leader, said the chief minister’s date of return from the US has not been fixed yet. “Since he has gone for treatment, we cannot say about the date of return. He would go by the doctors’ advice,” he said.
E P Jayarajan, a central committee member of the party, was forced to quit in October 2016, barely five months after the government came to power in the state, over alleged nepotism in appointments in public sector undertakings. Last month, he returned to the Cabinet and got back the Industries portfolio.
He told the media that the chief minister’s absence would not lead to any stalemate in governance. “There would not be any difficulty in taking critical decisions. Everything would go as per schedule. Who would preside over the Cabinet meeting in the absence of the chief minister would be known when the next Cabinet meeting is over,” he said.
As donations to the CM’s distress relief fund are pouring, the chief minister’s office said E P Jayarajan would be accepting them in the absence of Pinarayi.
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