Thiruvananthapuram: The CPM is likely to induct more new faces in the second Pinarayi Vijayan cabinet in Kerala, slated to take charge on May 20. The party is also considering more representation to women.
The party will have 12 ministers, including the chief minister. More than half of its ministers may be new faces.
The outgoing cabinet has two women ministers, K K Shailaja and J Mercikutty Amma, both from CPM. Shailaja has been re-elected with a record winning margin whereas Mercikutty lost the polls to Congress's P C Vishnunadh.
The party, however, has not yet made a final decision on the ministers. Unofficial high-level talks are on in the CPM, and the chief minister will have a final say in the matter.
Besides Vijayan, the party is likely to retain the health minister and CPM Central Committee member Shailaja in the new cabinet. Indications are that party secretariat members and present ministers M M Mani and T P Ramakrishnan may be dropped.
It has become certain that M V Govindan, K Radhakrishnan, P Rajeeve and K N Balagopal will get cabinet berths. Six names are being actively considered for the remaining six slots. V N Vasavan, V Sivankutty, Saji Cherian, M B Rajesh, C H Kunhambu and P Nandakumar may be in the priority list.
Second-time MLA Veena George, district committee members and first-time MLAs R Bindu and Kanathil Jameela are being considered to represent women in the cabinet. CPM will also consider whether CPI would nominate a woman.
Meanwhile, a demand has been raised for a cabinet berth to P T A Rahim, who has won for a fourth time as a Left-backed Independent. K T Jaleel is being considered as the Speaker. The CPM is also mulling to have a woman Speaker for the first time in the State assembly.
The party will further discuss whether to include A C Moideen in the cabinet, if Jaleel is not made a minister.