An all-new, 21-member LDF Ministry full of fresh faces to be sworn in in Kerala on May 20

Published : May 18, 2021 16:54 IST

At the start of the first meeting of the LDF after its election victory, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan marks the celebration by cutting a cake, in Thiruvananthapuram on May 17. Photo: BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

It will be an all-new Ministry of the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala, full of fresh faces under the chief ministership of Pinarayi Vijayan, which will take the oath of office in Kerala on May 20. The much-delayed swearing-in ceremony of the new Ministry will be held at the Central Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram. The LDF won 99 of the 140 seats in the 2021 Assembly election for a record second consecutive term in office.

Pinarayi Vijayan’s new 21-member Cabinet will have 11 other Ministers from the CPI(M), four from the CPI, and one each from smaller coalition partners, the Kerala Congress-M (KC-M), Janata Dal- S (JD-S), the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), the Janathipathya Kerala Congress (JKC), and the Indian National League (INL), as per a decision of the LDF. In addition, the Speaker, Deputy Speaker and Chief Whip posts will be for the nominees of the CPI(M), the CPI and the KC(M) respectively.

The JKC and the INL, which are finding a place in an LDF Ministry for the first time, will switch their Cabinet berths with representatives of the Kerala Congress(B) and the Congress(S) after the first two and a half years of the LDF government.

Surprisingly, the CPI(M)’s list of Ministers does not include the popular former Health Minister, K.K. Shailajah, who was widely expected to be in the Cabinet this time too, being the candidate who won the election with the highest victory margin (of 60,963 votes) in the State and given her performance as Health Minister in the past five years.

But the CPI(M) State committee, which met here today, announced that except Pinarayi Vijayan, who has been elected as parliamentary party leader and Chief Minister, all other party nominees will be fresh faces. They include M.V. Govindan, K. Radhakrishnan, K.N. Balagopal, P. Rajeev, V.N. Vasavan, Saji Cheriyan, V. Sivankutty, Mohammed Riyaz, Dr R. Bindu, Veena George and V. Abdul Rehman.

K. K. Shailajah is to be the party whip. The CPI(M) also decided M.B. Rajesh as its Speaker candidate and T.P. Ramakrishnan as the parliamentary party secretary.

Former Electricity Minister M.M. Mani, former Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran and former Local Bodies Minister A.C. Moideen, all of whom have been elected for a second term, also do not find a place in the new Cabinet. Earlier, while selecting candidates for the election, the CPIM) had decided that MLAs who had completed two terms would not be allowed to contest, and 33 former MLAs found themselves out of the party’s candidate list. They included several prominent Ministers such as E.P. Jayarajan, Thomas Isaac, G. Sudhakaran, C. Raveendranath and A.K. Balan.

The CPI also released its list of Ministers after the party’s executive meeting held in Thiruvananthapuram. CPI State secretary Kanam Rajendran said that State executive members K. Rajan, P. Prasad and J. Chinchu Rani and State council member G.R. Anil would be the new Ministers, and Chittayam Gopakumar will be the Deputy Speaker candidate. Former Revenue Minister and senior party leader E. Chandrasekharan will be the CPI’s parliamentary party leader.

The nominees of the other parties include former Minister K. Krishnankutty (JD-S), Roshy Augustine (KC-M), Antony Raju (JKC), Ahmed Devarkovil (INL) and A.K. Saseendran (NCP).

N. Jayaraj (KC-M) is to be the Chief Whip.

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