Thiruvananthapuram: The swearing-in of the second Pinarayi Vijayan-led LDF government is likely to be held after May 18.
The CPM state secretariat has decided to hold the swearing-in after two weeks in the wake of the Covid curbs. Discussions with regard to cabinet formation have also been postponed. But the polit buro that will meet on Wednesday is likely to have a general discussion on cabinet formation. The last Pinarayi government was sworn in on May 25, 2016.
The CPM secretariat has agreed not to call for any urgent online meets of the LDF and CPM state committee to discuss the cabinet formation. As there are curbs on travel and for offline meetings, the CPM decided that the LDF should not violate this.
10 new faces likely in cabinet
Around 10 new faces are likely to be in the cabinet. The CPM is keen on this as the implementation of the two-term policy had benefited the party in the Assembly polls. The CPM is of the view that the generational shift in the candidature should reflect in the cabinet as well. It has to be mainly decided whether to retain all the former ministers who are members of the new Assembly or to change everyone except the central committee member K K Shailaja. Along with the health department, Shailaja could be given higher education as well.
M V Govindan, K Radhakrishnan, P Rajeev, and K N Balagopal are certain to be part of the cabinet. Rajeev or Balagopal are likely to be the Finance Minister. The names of V Sivankutty, V N Vasavan, Saji Cherian, P P Chittaranjan, P Nandakumar, C H Kunjambu, Veena George, Kanathil Jameela, R Bindu, A N Shamseer, and K T Jaleel are being considered. One of them could be the Speaker.
The LDF meet that will be convened on May 17 will finalise the party representatives in the cabinet. The state secretariat and state committee that will be convened on May 18 will decide on the CPM ministers. It has been agreed to hold the swearing-in within one week after that. The CPI's executive committee will meet after May 15.
14th Assembly dissolved
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan has dissolved the 14th Legislative Assembly. Also, a notification has been issued to let the current cabinet to continue as a caretaker government. This would be until the next cabinet is sworn in.
Though the Assembly has been dissolved, the Speaker can continue to be in office until the day before the new Assembly convenes. But the terms of opposition leader, deputy speaker, and government chief whip ended on Monday. The members of the 14th Assembly are no more people's representatives.
The next cabinet will decide when the 15th Assembly will convene. The cabinet will also pick the Pro-tem Speaker, who will be administered the oath of office by the Governor. The oldest member of the new Assembly will be made the pro-tem Speaker.
Swearing-in likely at Raj Bhavan
A coordination committee chaired by the Chief Secretary will decide on the venue of the swearing-in and other details. The swearing-in ceremony is likely to be held at the parking area of the Raj Bhavan due to the Covid situation.
The coordination committee will take a call on the number of people who will take part in the ceremony. Apart from the Ministers-designate, family members, MLAs, outgoing ministers, prominent citizens and media personnel are likely to be allowed entry to the venue.
The members of the caretaker government are making arrangements to vacate the office and official residence.
LDF to celebrate victory on Friday
The LDF will celebrate their return to power in the state on Friday by lighting lamps in front of the homes on the evening of May 7. No victory celebrations will be held on the streets, according to LDF convenor A Vijayaraghavan.