Union Minister V Muraleedharan has alleged that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is involved in the appointment controversy that led to Education Minister KT Jaleel's resignation. Muraleedharan added that he would take legal action against Jaleel after the Lokayukta found him guilty of nepotism and abusing power.
“After it became clear that Pinarayi Vijayan had a hand in the appointment row, why isn’t he resigning as Chief Minister? When Jaleel resigned on moral ground, why the CM still holding on,” Muraleedharan told reporters in New Delhi. The Union Minister said that Vijayan has to respond as he is bound to the legal framework.
Muraleedharan also questioned Vijayan’s silence over Jaleel’s resignation. The Union Minister claimed that Vijayan is aware that he could be incriminated if Jaleel is found guilty. He also pointed out that the Chief Minister ordered an investigation when nepotism allegations were raised against EP Jayarajan, but Vijayan did not take any action against Jaleel.
Legal experts believe that Jaleel may not escape legal proceedings after the Lokayukta verdict and his fate will depend on the Kerala Assembly election results. According to reports, if the United Democratic Front (UDF) comes to power, they could initiate proceedings against him. But if the Left Democratic Front regains power, Jaleel could be let off. It is a known fact that Vijayan has supported Jaleel despite the latter being involved in various controversies.
Meanwhile, The Union Minister also ordered that a case be filed against Vijayan for allegedly violating Covid-19 protocol. Muraleedharan said that people have seen Vijayan conducting press conferences in the past year. “He spoke on how people must follow Covid-19 protocols. At times he even rebukes politicians for violating Covid protocols. We all wish to know from him when he turned Covid positive,” the Union Minister said, pointing at the confusing statement made by Kozhikode Medical College Principal MP Sasi.
Shortly after the controversy arose over the Chief Minister’s discharge from the hospital, Sasi made a confusing statement, saying that Vijayan’s tested positive on April 4. However, on that day, Vijayan was campaigning in his home constituency and interacted with media on voting day, i.e. April 6.
Sasi later clarified that Vijayan’s symptoms appeared on April 4 and tested positive on April 8. Therefore, pointing out that Vijayan completed the 10-day waiting period. He tested negative and discharged from the hospital. Sasi also informed that Vijayan was instructed to undergo home quarantine for a week.