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Achuthanandan stakes claim to form Govt in Kerala

Written by: Staff

Thiruvananthapuram, May 16 (UNI) Communist Party of India(Marxist) veteran V S Achuthanandan, who was unanimously elected by the CPI(M) as its Chief Minister nominee, today met Kerala Governor R L Bhatia to formally stake claim to form the next Government.

The CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) got 98 seats in the 140-member House in the April-May elections to the 12th Assembly.

Eightytwo-year-old Achuthanandan will be sworn-in as the 20th Chief Minister of Kerala at 1600 hrs on May 18 at the Central Stadium. It was for the first time that the swearing-in ceremony is being held outside the Raj Bhavan.

Though the CPI(M) State Committee finalised the list of ministers, it would be announced only after tomorrow's meeting of the LDF.

After his meeting with Mr Bhatia, Mr Achuthanandan said he would meet the Governor again tomorrow after the meeting of the LDF.

According to sources, Mr Achuthanandan is likely to head a 19-member Cabinet with the CPI(M) taking the lion's share of 12 berths and the post of Assembly Speaker.

It was also unlikely that Mr Achuthanandan would be given the crucial Home portfolio in view of the reported strong opposition within the party, mainly from the supporters of party State Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan.

Sources said the Cabinet would have CPI(M) State Secretariat members Paloli Mohammedkutty, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, P K Gurudasan, M A Baby, T M Thomas Issac, P K Sreemathy and A K Balan, former Speaker M Vijayakumar, former Minister S Sarma, Alappuzha district secretary G Sudhakaran and CITU State Secretary Elamaram Kareem.

There would be four nominees from the CPI, the second largest constituent of the LDF, and three to other small coalition partners.


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