Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. (File Photo: IANS). Image Source: IANS News

Thiruvananthapuram, April 10 : A day after the Kerala Lokayukta told the state's Higher Education Minister K.T. Jaleel that he has no moral right to continue in office as he "misused" his powers and indulged in "nepotism", the BJP asked why is Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan silent as he should have asked Jaleel to tender his resignation.

Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan told the media here on Saturday that it appears that Vijayan is afraid of Jaleel.

"Vijayan if he has any scruples left should have asked Jaleel to quit the moment the Lokayukta came out with its verdict. But he has not done it. All are asking if Jaleel enjoys his full confidence more than three other State Ministers (E.P. Jayarajan, A.K. Saseendran and late Thomas Chandy) who had to quit when allegations against them surfaced, but when it came to Jaleel, all through, Vijayan has been strongly defending him. So it means Vijayan is afraid of Jaleel," said Muraleedharan.

"We now hear that Jaleel is going to seek legal redress on the Lokayukta verdict and we wish to know if this was suggested by Vijayan himself. Jaleel became the first State Minister to be questioned by central agencies and here also Vijayan supported him. We wish to know what's the secret bond between Vijayan and Jaleel," added Muraleedharan.

Earlier in the day State Law Minister A.K. Balan dismissed the opposition demand to ask Jaleel to quit.

"There is no need for him to quit and moreover there is a time frame of three months for action on the Lokayukta verdict. Jaleel has done no wrong, as in the past relatives have been appointed to posts and the only question is if they were qualified," said Balan.

The case pertains to an appointment made by Jaleel in 2018 when he had appointed his close relative K.T. Adeeb as General Manager of the Kerala State Minorities Development Finance Corporation. Since then the youth wing of the Indian Union Muslim League, the second biggest ally of the Congress-led UDF, has been up in arms.

Jaleel contested the April 6 Assembly polls from the Thavanur assembly constituency in Malappuram district.

-- The story has been published from a wire feed without any modifications to the text

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