O R Kelu sworn in as minister in Pinarayi Vijayan cabinet

Kelu said his top priority would to cater to the needs of the SC/ST community.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan offers a bouquet to O R Kelu, who was sworn in as a minister at Raj Bhavan in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday. Governor Arif Mohammed Khan is also seen
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan offers a bouquet to O R Kelu, who was sworn in as a minister at Raj Bhavan in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday. Governor Arif Mohammed Khan is also seen Photo | Express

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Two-time Mananthavady MLA O R Kelu was sworn in as the Minister for the Welfare of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes and Backward Classes in the second Pinarayi Vijayan government on Sunday.

Governor Arif Mohammed Khan administered the oath of office and secrecy at the Raj Bhavan at 4 pm. The CPM leader then proceeded to the North Block of the Secretariat to assume his new role.

The swearing-in ceremony was attended by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Speaker A N Shamseer, Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan, several cabinet members, a few MLAs from the ruling party, and IUML national general secretary P K Kunhalikutty. Despite their serious demeanour during the ceremony, the Chief Minister and the Governor were later seen shaking hands and conversing with each other over tea.

Kelu’s induction follows the resignation of K Radhakrishnan from the cabinet after being elected to the Lok Sabha from Alathur. Kelu is the first leader from the Scheduled Tribe community to be elected to the CPM state committee and has been an active leader of the Tribal Welfare Committee. He belongs to the Kurichya community.

Kelu said his top priority would to cater to the needs of the SC/ST community.

“They have high hopes. Special attention will be given to the medical needs in Wayanad. The issue of wild animal attacks will be taken up with the authorities concerned. I will also continue the initiatives started by K Radhakrishnan,” the new minister said.

Around 100 persons from Mananthavady, including his wife P K Shantha and daughters Midhuna and Bhavana, were witness to Kelu’s swearing-in.

“We are party members and neighbours of the minister. It was with great joy that we attended the event,” said a Mananthavady resident.

Kelu's first decision: Use digital means to distribute medical aid

O R Kelu’s first decision after being sworn in as the Minister for the Welfare of Scheduled Castes/Tribes and Backward Classes was to implement the distribution of medical aid to SC/ST communities through digital means. The decision was made during a meeting with department heads and senior officials after he assumed office as minister. The move would help distribute medical aid quickly and efficiently, Kelu said.

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