THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The NCP and JDS — the two-member parties in the Left front — may get one minsterial berth each while Kerala Congress (Mani) may get the Chief Whip post with cabinet rank in addition to one ministerial berth. Ahead of cabinet formation, CPM began bilateral talks with Left allies. With KC(M) seeking two ministerial berths, and the CPM reluctant to concede, talks between the two parties remained inconclusive. The talks are expected to continue on May 17.
The KC(M) had the other day decided to seek two ministerial berths. While Roshy Augustine will be the primary choice, Dr N Jayaraj would be considered if there’s one more cabinet berth. If one minister and Chief Whip post is offered, N Jayaraj could be the Chief Whip. The party is keen to get Revenue or Agriculture - portfolios currently with the CPI.
“We have informed the CPM leadership about our demand that KC(M) should get deserving representation in the cabinet. We also assessed the election results. Discussions are on,” Jose K Mani said after the talks.
KC(M) chairman Jose K Mani, Roshy Augustine and Stephen George represented the party at the talks, for CPM it was politburo member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan who held the talks.
Meanwhile, CPM again indicated that JDS and LJD should merge, to which the JDS responded positively but pointed out LJD’s stance as the hurdle.
“The CPM expressed its inability to give ministerial berths to single-member parties. Though the CPM indicated about a merger, it won’t benefit the LJD as even in case of a merger, it’ll be just one ministerial berth” said LJD sources.
However the party is hopeful that if K B Ganesh Kumar is given a cabinet berth, even LJD’s K P Mohanan would also be considered. The LDF meet on May 17 is expected to finalise the cabinet berths and other aspects of government formation.