Thiruvananthapuram: EP Jayarajan was sworn in as minister again in the Kerala cabinet. The swearing-in ceremony was held at Raj Bhavan and Governor P Sathasivam administered the oath. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, fellow ministers and CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan attended the function, while the opposition boycotted it. 

With EP Jayarajan setting foot again into the party after the nepotism case, many people have criticised his return. Jayarajan had to resign on October 14, 2016, when he appointed two of his close relatives to top state public sector enterprises.

Jayarajan had earlier approached the high court against the FIR, claiming he had done nothing illegal. The Vigilance Department had recorded an affidavit in the high court in which it said that nothing wrong had taken place and there was no profit for anyone through the appointments. The Kerala high court quashed the case registered by Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) on September 27, 2017.

Jayarajan has now received the industries, commerce, youth affairs and sports departments, which were handled by him previously as well. The number of members in the cabinet has increased to 20 now, and the number of CPM ministers in the council has also increased from 12 to 13. 

Ministers C Raveendranath and Dr KT Jaleel have lost some of their departments following the reshuffling in the ministry due to Jayarajan’s arrival. The education department was divided into general education and higher education, and KT Jaleel was made in charge of the higher education department. 

Local administration department is awarded to A C Moideen. He was earlier handling local administration, industries and education departments, and was embroiled in quite a few controversies.

Though the industries department was handled by A C Moideen very well, it was taken away from him and he is now made in charge of the largest local administration department alone.