Govindan to succeed Kodiyeri? Will Shailaja be back in the Cabinet? Key CPM party meet today

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan with CPM State Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan. Photo: EV Sreekumar

Thiruvananthapuram: The CPM is likely mulling significant changes in the party's top leadership. A reshuffle of the Pinarayi Vijayan Government is also probably on the cards though the party sources are not confirming the same.

A lot of speculations regarding the rejig are doing the rounds as urgent meetings of the CPM State Secretariat and the State Committee have been called just two weeks after they were convened. 

Several critical decisions are expected to be made in the next two days. 
The conferences will deliberate on the appointment of a new party secretary and new faces in the Cabinet, said credible CPM sources. 

The State Secretariat is set to meet on Sunday (August 28), and the State Committee the next day. CPM General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and other senior leaders, including party politburo member Prakash Karat, will attend the meetings.

CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury, senior politburo member Prakash Karat, S Ramachandran Pillai and Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan. File photo

The CPM State Secretariat and State Committee meetings were held only recently, across five days from August 8 to 12, when most of the political and administrative issues concerning the State were discussed.

New party chief likely

Kodiyeri Balakrishnan may step down as CPM state secretary due to health issues. He was discharged from the hospital only on Friday.

Minister MV Govindan. FIle photo

He has reportedly conveyed to the party's central leadership and senior leaders, including Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, about his willingness to resign. 

The CPM  leadership is actively considering CPM Central Committee member and Local Self-Government Minister MV Govindan to replace Kodiyeri. There is a strong demand for a party secretary from Kannur to replace Kodiyeri. The age bar of 75 years set by the party is also not coming in the way of  Govindan, who is just 69.

Govindan's prospects are high though the names of politburo member A Vijayaraghavan and LDF Convener EP Jayarajan are also being discussed.

KK Shailaja. File photo: Manorama

Kodiyeri Balakrishnan was elected the CPM state secretary for the third time during the party state conference held in Kochi in March.
Probable new CPM ministers

Representational image.

A few ministers who are not up to the mark are likely to be replaced from the Pinarayi Vijayan Cabinet. 

Deliberations are ongoing at the highest level in the CPM about the rejig. The likely choices are Speaker MB Rajesh and former Health Minister KK Shailaja.

If MB Rajesh is asked to resign and inducted into the Cabinet, Health Minister Veena George may become the Speaker. 

The leadership is considering whether to make Education Minister V Sivankutty the CPM party district secretary in Thiruvananthapuram. The Education Department may be then given to Rajesh. 

If MV Govindan resigns then a new Local Self-Government Minister also has to be found. 

There is also a demand to bring back KK Shailaja, the Health Minister in the first Pinarayi Vijayan government, into the Cabinet.

No one has been appointed in place of CPM State secretary member Saji Cherian, who was forced to resign his ministerial post in the wake of the row over remarks against the Constitution. The party leadership is holding deliberations to fill up this vacancy, sources claimed.

The party may even consider a CPM legislator from Alappuzha district for ministership. Currently, there is no CPM member from the coastal district in the Cabinet.

Someone close to the coastal region or the fisheries sector could also become a minister. This is considering the agitations over the Vizhinjam Port construction and the various other issues concerning the coastal region and fisherfolks. 

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