With the oath-taking ceremony of the second Pinarayi Vijayan-led LDF government set to take place on Thursday, here’s a list of his cabinet colleagues
A tough taskmaster
A tough taskmaster, Pinarayi Vijayan could steadfastly hold together the CPM and the Left Democratic Front in Kerala while Left movements had faltered without much resistance in Tripura and West Bengal which had been red forts for several decades. His willpower and pragmatism helped broaden the support base of the LDF in the state with people from all castaes, religion and economic classes lending support to his leadership.
During the tough days of floods, cyclone and pandemic, Pinarayi unwaveringly led the state forward and the re-election of LDF stood out as a testimony to his leadership skills. He took a break from parliamentary politics to become CPM state secretary in 1998. After being at the helm of CPM for 16 years, he contested again in 2016 and became the chief minister. This time, voters gave him a majority of 50,123 votes from the same constituency. He is currently a CPM politburo member. Earlier, Pinarayi had been elected to the assembly in 1970, 1977, 1991 and 1996.
PICTURE STORY: CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT CABINET MEMBERS OF SECOND LDF GOVERNMENT
Except Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan from CPM, A K Saseendran from NCP and K Krishnankutty from Janata Dal(S), all other ministers are fresh faces. K Radhakrishnan, who was elected from Chelakkara constituency, was SC/ST Welfare Minister in the E K Nayanar cabinet in 1996. He also served as the assembly speaker from 2006 to 2011.
ANIMAL HUSBANDRY: J Chinchu Rani, 56, CPI, Chadayamangalam. Education: SSLC
Chinchurani is the second woman minister from CPI (after K R Gowri who had been part of the 1957 cabinet). She began her public life by associating with Balavedi and AISF. She is the state president of Kerala Mahila Sangham. Her husband D Sukesan is a CPI local leader in Kollam.
WATER RESOURCES: Roshy Augustine, 52, KC(M) Idukki. Education: BSc
Roshy Augustine entered politics through KSC(M), the students’ wing of Kerala Congress(M). After his unsuccessful contest from Perambra constituency in 1996 at 27, Mani offered a ticket to Roshy in the 2001 assembly elections from Idukki. Roshy, who won from Idukki in 2001, has never tasted defeat since then.
INDUSTRIES: P Rajeeve, 54, CPM Kalamassery. Education: LLB
A native of Meladoor in Thrissur, Rajeeve has been living in Kalamassery for the past several years. Rajeeve, who began his public life as an SFI organiser, earned appreciation cutting across party lines as Rajya Sabha MP from 2009-2015. He is a member of the CPM state secretariat and served as Ernakulam district secretary.
SC/ST WELFARE, DEWASWOM: K Radhakrishnan, 57, CPM Chelakkara. Education: BA Economics
A native of Thonnoorkara in Chelakkara, Radhakrishnan entered politics through SFI while studying at Thrissur Kerala Varma College. He has represented Chelakkara constituency in the assembly for 5 terms. In the first term, he was made SC/ST Welfare minister in the E K Nayanar cabinet in 1996. He served as the assembly speaker from 2006 to 2011.
REVENUE: K Rajan, 48, CPI Ollur. Education: BSc, LLB
Ollur constituency has never given a second term for a candidate during the past four decades. The CPI has named K Rajan who served as government chief whip during the previous term as minister as he broke the jinx attached to Ollur. Rajan is a state executive member of the CPI and had been AIYF national secretary.
POWER: K Krishnankutty, 76, JD(S) Chittur. Education: High School
K Krishnankutty was water resources minister in the outgoing Pinarayi Vijayan government. A native of Chittur in Palakkad, K Krishnankutty is a farmer and an expert in inter-state river-water sharing treaties. He is the state president of the Janata Dal (S).
HEALTH: Veena George, 44, CPM Aranmula. Education: Msc
Veena George is a journalist-turned-politician. She quit her job to contest the election from Aranmula in 2016. Veena’s leadership qualities were visible during the 2018 floods which had affected Pathanamthitta badly.
FOREST: A K Saseendran, 75, NCP Elathur. Education: Diploma in Ayurveda Medicine
A native of Chovva in Kannur, Saseendran started his political career as a KSU worker. He was the district president of KSU from 1963-1966 and its state president from 1978-1980 and state president of Youth Congress. He later joined Congress(S) and his party merged with NCP when the latter was formed. The six-time MLA was first elected to the assembly in 1980 from Peringalam in Kannur. He served as the transport minister in the outgoing LDF government.
HIGHER EDUCATION: R Bindu, 54, CPM Irinjalakuda. Education: PhD
Wife of CPM state secretary A Vijayaraghavan, she is a central committee member of All-India Democratic Women’s Association. She was the first woman mayor of Thrissur. She was the head of the department of English and vice-principal of Thrissur Kerala Varma College.
EXCISE/LOCAL SELF GOVT: M V Govindan, 68, CPM Taliparamba. Education: Diploma
Considered a party ideologue from Kannur, M V Govindan is a central committee member and one of the top leaders of CPM in the state. He is a member of the CPM state secretariat. A former DYFI state president, M V Govindan had served as the Chief Editor of party mouthpiece Deshabhimani for some time. He is a three-time MLA, and has won from Taliparamba constituency.
PWD/ TOURISM: P A MOHAMED RIYAS, 45, CPM, Beypore. Education LLB
National president of DYFI, P A Mohamed Riyas started his political career through SFI while studying at St Joseph’s High School. He was instrumental in breaking the MSF monopoly at Farooq College in 1997. He had unsuccessfully contested from Kozhikode constituency in the 2009 LS polls. Pinarayi Vijayan’s daughter T Veena is his wife.
PORTS: Ahamed Devarkovil, 61, INL Kozhikode South. Education: Pre-degree
A native of Kozhikode, Ahamed began his political life as a Muslim Students Federation activist. He has been with the organisation since the formation of the INL under the leadership of Ebrahim Sulaiman Sait. Ahamed is currently INL national general secretary. He defeated IUML’s Noorbina Rasheed in the election.
MINORITY AFFAIRS: V Abdurahiman, 59, National Secular Conference Tanur. Education: SSLC
Winning twice from a constituency that IUML kept as its citadel for more than five decades helped V Abdurahiman find a place in the government. He started his political career in KSU. He left Congress in 2014 and contested unsuccessfully against IUML from Ponnani Lok Sabha seat as an LDF candidate.
EDUCATION: V Sivankutty, 66, CPM Nemom. Education: BA
V Sivankutty enters the cabinet with the distinction of winning back BJP’s lone sitting seat in the state. He was the state president of SFI and had served as the president of Ulloor panchayat and Mayor of Thiruvananthapuram Corporation. He is currently a state committee member of CPM and CITU state secretary. His wife Parvathy Devi is the daughter of CPM ideologue the late P Govinda Pillai.
TRANSPORT: Antony Raju, 66, Democratic Kerala Congress Thiruvananthapuram. Education: BA, LLB
Antony Raju trounced sitting MLA V S Sivakumar to win the Thiruvananthapuram constituency. He started his political career as the student leader of KSC, a feeder organisation of the Kerala Congress.
CIVIL SUPPLIES: G R Anil, 58, CPI Nedumangad. Education: BA, LLB
Anil won the maiden assembly election from Nedumangad. He had earlier served as the health and education standing committee chairman of T’Puram corporation. He is currently the district secretary of CPI. His wife R Lathadevi is a former MLA.
FINANCE: K N Balagopal, 57, CPM Kottarakkara. Education: MCom, LLM
This is Balagopal’s maiden term in the assembly. He had been a Rajya Sabha member. During the tenure of V S Achuthanandan, he had been his political secretary. His political life began in SFI and he went on to become national president of SFI and DYFI.
Speaker M B Rajesh, 50, CPM Thrithala. Education: LLB
A two-time MP, he wrested Thrithala constituency from the Congress which it had held for a decade. He had served as district secretary, state secretary and All-India joint secretary of SFI and DYFI state and national president. He is a CPM state committee member.
FISHERIES/ CULTURAL AFFAIRS: Saji Cheriyan, 56, CPM Chengannur. Education: LLB
He began his political career through SFI during his pre-degree studies at Chengannur Christian College. He was first elected to the assembly in a bypoll necessitated following the death of the Chengannur MLA in 2018. He was earlier unsuccessfully contested against P C Vishnunadh from the same constituency. He was SFI district president, DYFI district secretary and CPM district secretary.
AGRICULTURE: P Prasad, 51, CPI Cherthala. Education: BA
A native of Palamel in Alappuzha, he began his political career through AISF. Later, he worked as AISF state president and state executive member. He had also been an additional private secretary to former minister Binoy Viswom and Thiruvananthapuram unit manager of Janayugom, CPI mouthpiece.
REGISTRATION/ COOPERATION: V N Vasavan, 66, CPM Ettumanoor. Education: SSLC, ITI
Vasavan entered politics through SFI. He was elected the CPM district secretary in 2015. After his unsuccessful contest against Oommen Chandy in Puthuppally in 1987 and 1991 assembly elections, he became an MLA in 2006 from Kottayam constituency.
Deputy Speaker Chittayam Gopakumar, 56, CPI Adoor. Education: SSLC
A three-time MLA from Adoor, he had started his political career as an activist of AISF and held various positions in AIYF and Kisan Sabha. A former panchayat president of Kottarakkara, he had also served as Agriculture Workers’ Welfare Board chairman.
3 Districts — T’Puram, Thrissur and Kozhikode — get three ministers. No representation for Wayanad and Kasaragod.
In the outgoing cabinet, there was representation for Kasaragod (K Chandrasekharan, Revenue Minister), but not for Wayanad.