Kerala: Trouble brews over ministerial ranks amid CPM allies

Thiruvananthapuram: The CPM ministers in Kerala Chief Minister-designate Pinarayi Vijayan's cabinet ministers were named without much problem, but the process was more difficult in the CPI and two other constituents of the Left Democratic Front.

It was decided on Sunday that the Vijayan cabinet would have 19 members (including the chief minister) and the Communist Party of India-Marxist will have 12 berths, the Communist Party of India 4 and three other LDF constituents - the Janata Dal-S, the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress-S - would get one each.

Pinarayi Vijayan

Pinarayi Vijayan. Screen grab from Ibnlive

On Monday, the CPM named its ministers, including three - Thomas Issac, A.K.Balan and G.Sudhakran - who were ministers in the V.S.Achuthanandan cabinet (2006-11), while new faces are E.P.Jayarajan, K.K.Shailaja, A.C.Moideen, Kadakampally Surendran, T.P.Ramakrishnan, C.Raveendranath, J.Mercykutty Amma and K.T.Jaleel (who won as a CPM-backed Independent).

However it was high drama at the state party headquarters of the CPI when the party leaders met to select their four ministers.

C.Divakaran and Mullakara Ratnakaran, who were part of the Achuthanandan cabinet, tried their level best to get a second term, but it was shot down by the party state secretary Kanam Rajendran, who instead nominated E.Chandrasekheran, P.Thilothaman, V.S.Sunil Kumar and P.Raju.

"Like in 2006, we selected new faces for the post of minister, this time also, we have followed that," Rajendran told reporters while announcing their ministers.

Meanwhile the Janata Dal-S and the Nationalist Congress Party even after a few rounds to select their ministerial candidates have not been able to do so as there are more than one aspirant for the posts.

But no such issue is there in the Congress-S as its lone legislator Kadanapally Ramachandran is all set to be sworn in.

Three other legislators from three different political parties, who are not LDF constituents but allies, also made a valiant attempt to get ministerial berths, but this was shot down by the CPM.

The new Vijayan cabinet would be sworn in at the Central Stadium here at 4 p.m. on Wednesday.

The CPM-led LDF won the May 16 polls, winning 91 seats in the 140-member Kerala assembly.

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Updated Date: May 23, 2016 18:52:21 IST

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