News Brief

Kerala: Major Overhaul In Pinarayi Vijayan Cabinet To Keep LDF Coalition Parties Happy

Nishtha Anushree

Dec 24, 2023, 01:30 PM | Updated 01:30 PM IST

Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister of Kerala
Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister of Kerala

The Left Democratic Front's (LDF) State committee orchestrated a significant reshuffle in the Pinarayi Vijayan cabinet of Kerala, The Hindu reported.

EP Jayarajan, the convenor of LDF, presided over the State committee meeting on Sunday (24 December). He informed the media that the second administration of Vijayan, which assumed office in 2021, had assured four coalition partners, each with a single MLA in the Assembly, of cabinet positions. These positions are to be shared on a two-and-a-half-year term basis, concluding in November.

Based on the agreement, Antony Raju, the Transport Minister from the Democratic Kerala Congress, is expected to resign from his position to make way for KB Ganesh Kumar, the leader of Kerala Congress (B).

In a similar vein, Kadanappally Ramachandran from Congress (S) is set to take over from Ahamed Devarkovil of the Indian National League. Nonetheless, the decision has been postponed for a month by the Navkerala Sadas.

Jayarajan conveyed that the LDF had remained steadfast. In the morning, both Raju and Devarkovil tendered their resignations to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at his official residence, the Cliff House.

Ganesh Kumar and Ramachandran, the newly appointed ministers, are scheduled to be sworn into office on 29 December. The decision regarding their specific portfolios will be made by Vijayan.

Jayarajan stated that the LDF had successfully managed the reshuffle without jeopardising the unity and cohesion of the ruling front. He praised Raju and Devarkovil for their commendable service to the people and expressed confidence that the new members would continue to uphold their legacy.

Discussions surrounding the impending cabinet reorganisation have led numerous other LDF allies to openly and subtly voice their aspiration to transition from the backbenches to the prime seats in the Assembly.

The reported contenders for the replacement of Forest Minister AK Saseendran included Thomas K Thomas, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and MLA, citing Kuttanad's need for cabinet representation, and Kovoor Kunjumon, a leader of the Revolutionary Socialist Party (Leninist) who has served five legislative terms. These matters were apparently under consideration by the LDF State Committee.

It is also reported that the LDF believes Ganesh Kumar, a board member of the Nair Service Society, could assist the government in mending its relationship with the influential social group, which has had numerous disagreements with the government on various issues.

Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.

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