THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The CPM state secretariat is learnt to have reached an understanding on allocation of portfolios to the new ministers in the Pinarayi Vijayan cabinet. Veena George is likely to get the health portfolio which is being vacated by K K Shailaja.
Veena, a journalist-turned-politician and the youngest member of the cabinet, will be capable enough to handle the crucial portfolio in this hour of crisis, felt the senior leadership. A formal announcement of portfolios will be made by CM Pinarayi Vijayan later. Pinarayi Vijayan will continue to hold Home, Vigilance, IT and environment portfolios like in the first term.
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K N Balagopal, who has proved his mettle as the Rajya Sabha MP, will be new finance minister while P Rajeeve, who was another CPM strongman in the Rajya Sabha, will handle the industries portfolio. M V Govindan, who is the second in seniority in the cabinet, will get local self government and excise portfolios. K Radhakrishnan, a former minister and speaker, is tipped for Devaswom and SC/ST welfare.
The Chief Minister’s son-in-law and Beypore MLA Mohammed Riyaz is set to get two crucial portfolios – PWD and Tourism. Dr R Bindu, wife of CPM acting secretary A Vijayaraghavan, will handle higher education and V Sivankutty will handle the general education portfolio. Saji Cherian is the minister for fisheries and cultural affairs while V N Vasavan will handle cooperation and registration.
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The CPM assigned the power portfolio to constituent JD(S) and its nominee K Krishnankutty will be the power minister. Antony Raju of the Democratic Kerala Congress will be the transport minister while the NCP’s AK Saseendran will get the forest department. Ahammed Devarkovil will handle zoo and ports while V Abdurahman will be the minister for minority affairs and Haj.
K Rajan of the CPI will be the new revenue minister. P Prasad and G R Anil of the CPI will get agriculture and food and civil supplies respectively. J Chinchu Rani of the CPI is tipped for animal husbandry and legal metrology.