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Amid speculation, Pinarayi denies talk of further reshuffle in his office

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Amid speculation of an imminent shake-up in the Chief Minister’s Office in the wake of allegations linking the CMO with the gold smuggling case, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday categorically denied any such move. The only reshuffle is that of replacing his former principal secretary M Sivasankar which has already been carried out,  Pinarayi said at his evening briefing.

Speculation is rife that the CPM has decided to bring back to the CMO senior leader and the party’s Kannur district chief M V Jayarajan who had served as the CM’s private secretary for a brief period.
Dubbed as a move to strengthen the party’s control over the CMO, it’s being pointed out that Jayarajan’s return will streamline the functioning of the CMO. There are indications that the CPM Kannur district committee has already discussed replacing M V Jayarajan with Thaliaparambu MLA, James Mathew. Once the party takes a final decision, Jayarajan will take over as CM’s private secretary.

Concerns have been voiced in party circles about the party having no control over the CMO. The situation was different when CPM state committee member M V Jayarajan was part of the CMO. He was elected as Kannur district secretary in March 2019 when then incumbent P Jayarajan contested the LS poll from Vadakara.The party feels that with elections due next year, it should be more careful in avoiding further controversies.

If Jayarajan is brought back to the CMO, it will definitely help. Similarly there are reports that CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan will henceforth play a more active role. The CPM central leadership also feels that the political leadership should have greater role in the administration in view of the recent controversies surrounding M Sivasankar and the gold smuggling case.

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