Pinarayi Vijayan takes oath as Kerala Chief Minister for second time; 20 ministers inducted in his cabinet
Thiruvananthapuram, May 20: CPI(M) veteran Pinarayi Vijayan, who led the Left Democratic Front (LDF) to an unprecedented consecutive victory in the April 6 assembly polls, was on Thursday sworn in as the Chief Minister of Kerala for the second successive term.
Governor Arif Mohammed Khan administered the oath of office to 76-year-old Vijayan in a low-key function at the Central Stadium here, which was held completely in adherencewith the COVID protocol.
It is the second stint of the Marxist veteran in the top office.
Opposition Congress-UDF leaders kept away from the function in view of the COVID-19 spread.
The Kerala High Court on Wednesday directed the government to restrict the number of participants in the ceremonyin view of the pandemic.
CPI(M), the largest coalition partner, in LDF would have 12 members in the new cabinet while CPI, the second largest party, would have 4 nominees while Kerala Congress (M), Janata Dal (S) and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) would have one representative each, he said.
As there are restrictions to accommodate more than 21 members in the cabinet, the LDF decided to share the ministerial berths to four of its allies, having a single MLA, on a term basis.
With this, it has become clear that Antony Raju, (Janadhipathya Kerala Congress), K B Ganesh Kumar (Kerala Congress-B), Ahammad Devarkovil (Indian National League) and Ramachandran Kadannappally (Congress-S) would be inducted into the cabinet in two phases.
While the CPI(M) and CPI would hold the speaker and deputy speaker posts respectively, the Chief Whip post would go to a KC-M nominee.
The LDF parliamentary party leader would be elected on Tuesday after which the Governor would be consulted with regard to the swearing-in ceremony, he added.
Earlier, Vijayan, who chaired the LDF state committee meeting at the CPI(M) headquarters AKG Centre here, cut a cake in the presence of front leaders to celebrate their historic victory in the April 6 Assembly polls.
The meeting also paid homage to Kerala Congress (B) former chief, late R Balakrishna Pillai who died earlier this month.
The LDF has retained power in Kerala by winning 99 seats, beating its rivals-Congress-headed United Democratic Front (UDF) and BJP-NDA.
While UDF could manage only 41 seats, the saffron front failed to win any seat in the polls.