Mananthawady MLA OR Kelu to become first CPM minister from tribal community

By choosing OR Kelu, the CPM has ensured Wayanad's representation in the Pinarayi cabinet.
Mananthavady MLA O R Kelu
Mananthavady MLA O R Kelu

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a historic decision, the left front has zeroed in on a leader from the tribal community as the new SC/ST minister. Senior CPM leader and two-time Mananthaway MLA OR Kelu will become the first CPM minister from ST community. He will replace K Radhakrishnan who stepped down on Tuesday after being elected to the Lok Sabha from Alathur. A decision on the swearing-in will be taken later.

By choosing OR Kelu, the CPM has ensured Wayanad's representation in the Pinarayi cabinet. A two-time MLA, Kelu is the first leader from Scheduled Tribe to be elected to the CPM state committee. A leader of the Tribal Welfare Committee, Kelu belongs to the Kurichya community. He's now chairing the assembly panel on SC/St welfare.

"It's a decision by the party. Wayanad has two major issues related to tribal welfare and man animal conflict. These issues need to be addressed. Former ministers K Radhakrishnan and AK balan were following the LDF policies. I too would follow the LDF policies,"  Kelu told the media after coming out of the CPM state committee.

OR Kelu is the second only leader from the Scheduled Tribes to become a minister. Earlier Congress leader PK Jayalekshmi was part of the 2011-26 Oommen Chandy cabinet. IN 2016 Kelu got elected to the state assembly by defeating PK Jayalakshmi.

It was the ongoing CPM state committee meet which took a decision to bring Kelu to the state cabinet. With Kelu's cabinet entry, there will be a minor cabinet reshuffle too. The two portfolios held by K Radhakrishnan were given to two other ministers. Devaswom portfolio has been given to senior leader and Ports minister VN Vasavan. Excise and Local Self Government minister MB Rajesh, who was assembly speaker in the beginning of the second Pinarayi government, has been allotted the portfolio of Parliament Affairs.

Mananthavady MLA O R Kelu
O R Kelu likely to replace Radhakrishnan

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