Kerala cabinet to have 21 members, four single-MLA parties to get berths on 'sharing' basis
Antony Raju of the Democratic Kerala Congress and Ahammad Devarkovil of the Indian National League will be part of the cabinet for the first 30 months. They will be replaced for the next 30 months.
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The LDF state committee that met here on Monday decided to form a 21-member cabinet under the leadership of Pinarayi Vijayan. The new ministry will be sworn in on Thursday. The LDF decided to allocate cabinet berths to four single-MLA parties on ‘sharing the term’ basis.
Antony Raju of Democratic Kerala Congress and Ahammad Devarkovil of Indian National League will be inducted into the cabinet for the first 30 months. K B Ganesh Kumar of Kerala Congress (B) and Ramachandran Kadannappally of Congress (S) will replace them for the next 30 months. The Loktantric Janata Dal with a single MLA, K P Mohanan, couldn’t find a berth in the cabinet as the CPM considered LJD and two-member Janata Dal (S) as a single unit as LJD had earlier been part of JD (S).
Kerala Congress (M) has decided to nominate Idukki MLA Roshy Augustine as minister. The party will get the chief whip post in cabinet rank also. N Jayaraj who won from Kanjirapally will be the chief whip.
“As the verdict made it clear that the LDF had overwhelming support of all sections, we decided to provide representation to all. The constitutional clauses restrict the cabinet to 21 members and hence the smaller parties were asked to share the term,” LDF convener A Vijayaraghavan said. He also said the swearing in ceremony will be organised in a low-key manner with only minimum invitees. The swearing in will be held at Central Stadium on Thursday afternoon.
The CPM state secretariat and state committee and CPI state executive and state council will meet here on Tuesday to finalise their nominees. The CPM will have 12 members including the CM and the CPI will have four members. Besides them, the NCP and JD(S) will have one member each in the cabinet. The CPM nominee will be the speaker while the CPI nominee will be the deputy speaker.
Ahammad Devarkovil, 61, was elected from Kozhikode North. He is the state vice president of the hotel and restaurant owners association. The INL is becoming part of the state cabinet for the first time. Antony Raju, 66, was elected from Thiruvananthapuram constituency. He is an advocate by profession and had earlier served as chairman of state handicrafts development corporation and Travancore Cements Limited. Roshy Augustine, 51, has been representing Idukki constituency since 2001. A staunch loyalist of KC (M) founder late K M Mani, Roshy had served as the state president of Kerala State Youth Front.
The LDF meeting which was chaired by Pinarayi Vijayan started with a cake cutting ceremony to celebrate the resounding win of the front in the assembly polls. The LDF won 99 seats in the 140-seat assembly.