Thiruvananthapuram: Veteran Communist Party of India Marxist leader E.P. Jayarajan was virtually ‘trolled out’ as he exited the Kerala cabinet on Friday as the first Communit Party India - Marxist (CPM) minister in the state to be ousted on nepotism charges.
He also was the first in the state to have had to succumb to a tsunami of trolls on social media that tore into him, forcing him to step down.
The trolling was so intense that it took just over a week from October 5 when allegations surfaced about the minister’s nepotism, to his exit on October 14.
Taking off on the nepotism charge and allegations that he had appointed a nephew and niece in government service, trollers labelled him ‘Chittappan’ (uncle). That tag soon became a household name in the state for a man who was the second-in-command in the Pinarayi Vijayan cabinet.
Expectedly, most trolls were coined around the theme of nepotism. One of them showed the minister asking a man, “Aren’t you the one who delivers milk at the home of my aunt’s grandma’s uncle’s home? Then you be the managing director of Milma (the best-known milk co-operative in the state)”.
Another troll featured Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan taking stock of the industry department functioning under Jayarajan, with the visual showing a crowd comprising uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, and in-laws.
Many recalled Jayarajan’s brazen act of removing Olympian athlete Anju Bobby George from the post of Kerala Sports Council president, immediately after taking over as minister, on the charge that she had appointed her brother in the sports council, and “wasted public money” in flying from Bengaluru to Kerala.
“Things happen so fast. In which church does Anju Bobby George pray?”, wondered a troller.
Jayarajan had been widely trolled a few months ago, when he mistook legendary boxer Muhammad Ali for a Kerala sportsman, and offered his condolences to the “famous sportsman from Kerala”.
Taking off on that, one troll showed Michael Jackson saying, “Good that I died before he mistook me for a Kerala Kathakali artiste”.
And another troller suggested a “trolling ban” in Kerala to save Jayarajan, punning on the annual trawling ban in the state when fishing by mechanised boats is banned for a month to help protect fish during their breeding season.
There was no such relief for Jayarajan and his party, however, as another troll renamed the CPI-M itself as Chittappan (uncle) Party of India – Marumakkal (nephews and nieces).