Thiruvananthapuram: The Congress on Tuesday demanded a Vigilance probe into the role of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan after a number of kin of senior CPI-M leaders got jobs in public sector organisations and as government leaders, triggering allegations of nepotism.
State Congress President VM Sudheeran in a statement said that nothing happens without the knowledge of Vijayan.
"All appointments to top posts are done with the knowledge of Vijayan and hence his role also should be probed. Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala has already sought a probe in his letter to the Vigilance director Jacob Thomas," Sudheeran said.
"But it has now surfaced that Thomas is waiting to get a direction from Vijayan and, if so, then it is a hypocritical stand," he added.
Controversy ensued for the four-month-old Vijayan government, which during pre-poll campaigning had promised a clean and transparent governance, after state Industries Minister EP Jayarajan, the number two in the ministry, appointed his close relatives to top posts in the state public sector undertakings (PSUs).
These included his nephew PK Sudheer, who is son of Communist Party of India-Marxist Lok Sabha member PK Sreemathy.
Following a huge social media outcry, the appointment was cancelled.
Sudheeran said that Jayarajan "has no other option but to quit" and his "silence clearly shows that he knows that he has done a very serious wrong".
Ever since the Sudheer episode surfaced, names of those who got jobs on the basis of being a relative of a CPI-M leader have been emerging.
On Tuesday, Youth Congress activists were allegedly roughed up by the state police here after they were stopped from marching to the official residence of Jayarajan.
Top Congress leaders are meeting here on Wednesday to discuss how this issue should be taken forward.
In the CPI-M itself, the issue has come as a boon to the faction in the party opposed to Jayarajan while all eyes are on the Friday meeting of the party's state secretariat, called specifically to discuss this issue.