The CPM on Friday decided to re-induct senior party leader E P Jayarajan to the Kerala Cabinet, almost two years after he had quit over charges of nepotism in appointments to key posts in state public sector undertakings.
Jayarajan, a Central Committee Member of the CPM, will also get back the portfolio of Industries, which he had handed for 142 days in the then Pinarayi Vijayan-led government, before quitting on October 16, 2016.
CPM State Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan told reporters on Friday that the party’s decision to take back Jayarajan would be presented before the next meeting of the Left Democratic Front (LDF), scheduled to be held on August 13.
However, no existing Minister would be dropped from the Cabinet, he said.
Instead, the present 19-member Cabinet would be expanded to 20 to accommodate Jayarajan, Balakrishnan said.
The CPM State Secretary added that the portfolios of other CPM ministers would change in the wake of Jayarajan’s entry.
The present Industries Minister A C Moitheen would be given the Department of Local Self Government, which is now handled by party-backed Independent K T Jaleel. Higher Education would be carved out from the Education Department and given to Jaleel. At present, CPM’s C Raveendranath is the Education Minister.
Jayarajan had faced a vigilance probe in the wake of the allegations of nepotism in the appointments.
However, he was exonerated of the charges after the high court quashed the case in September last year. Since then, Jayarajan’s return to the Cabinet has been debated in the party circles.
Jayarajan had been second only to CM Vijayan in the Cabinet when he had exited unceremoniously.