Thiruvananthapuram: The CPM and CPI, the two major parties of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala, are likely to hold bilateral on the formation of the cabinet of ministers in the second Pinarayi Vijayan government on Thursday.
The CPM-CPI talks will decide on the representation of each party in the cabinet.
CPM had 12 ministers in the 14th Legislative Assembly, while CPI had four. CPM later added one more minister, and awarded the post of chief whip with cabinet rank to CPI.
CPM has won a record 67 seats in the recently concluded Assembly polls, and the party feels it deserves one more minister. CPI is likely to continue with four ministers, but may have to forgo the post of either the deputy speaker or chief whip.
CPI will wait for CPM’s demand on the number of ministers before making a final decision.
Meanwhile, both the parties indicated that parties which have only one MLA may not get a cabinet post. If the LDF has to accommodate such parties in the cabinet, it will have to consider offering ministerial berths to six leaders, including Kovoor Kunjumon of RSP (B), who has been providing support from outside.
Loktantrik Janata Dal, which returned to LDF, is keen on having a cabinet post for its lone MLA, K P Mohanan. K B Ganesh Kumar of Kerala Congress (B), too, has staked a claim for a cabinet berth.
Former minister and senior Congress (S) leader Kadannappally Ramachandran also is expecting a second consecutive term as minister.
CPM’s bilateral talks with other LDF constituent parties are expected to conclude by Monday, followed by an LDF meet on 17, and CPM state committee meeting the next day. The new government is likely to take charge before May 22.
CPI may nominate new faces
CPI, with 17 seats, is mulling to nominate at least three new faces as ministers. According to the recent precedence, E Chandrasekharan is unlikely to get a second cabinet term.
Though C Divakaran, Mullakkara Ratnakaran were expected to be included in the previous cabinet, the CPI state council decided to nominate new faces to the four ministerial posts allotted to the party.
Since CPI had not nominated Divakaran and Ratnakaran to the first Pinarayi cabinet, the party may have reservations in awarding Chandrasekharan a second consecutive term. CPI may accord preference to state working committee members P Prasad, K Rajan and J Chinchu Rani to be included in the cabinet.
P S Supal’s prospects of becoming a minister may be bleak if Rani is nominated, since both the leaders are from Kollam district.
Senior members E K Vijayan, Chittayam Gopakumar and Deputy Speaker in the 14th Assembly V Sasi may also be considered. One of them may be nominated to the post of Deputy Speaker.