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Kerala: Pinarayi Vijayan sworn in as CM for the second time

Our Bureau. Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on May 20, 2021

Pinarayi Vijayan takes oath as the Chief Minister of Kerala for the second consecutive term, at a ceremony in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday.   -  PTI

21-member team administered oath of office

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan administered the oath of office to a 21-member Council of Ministers, including three women, led by Pinarayi Vijayan as Chief Minister on Thursday.

This marks the start of the historic second consecutive term in government for the Left Democratic Government that Vijayan has led to power in the State.

In keeping with the Covid-19 precautions, the swearing-in ceremony was attended by a sparse assemblage of special guests at the Central Stadium here.

The Kerala High Court had directed that number of participants at the ceremony should be limited.

Opposition keeps away

The Opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) leaders kept away from the function citing unabated Covid-19 spread and the ongoing triple lockdown in Thiruvananthapuram district. Senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala had conveyed his wishes to the Chief Minister and his team.

Meanwhile, the new Council of Ministers comprising new faces, even new entrants into the Assembly, includes three members who have made their mark as Members of Parliament – KN Balagopal, P Rajeeve and MB Rajesh – all CPI(M) members.

New faces in team

Balagopal has been given the crucial Finance portfolio and will succeed Thomas Isaac in the first Pinarayi Vijayan ministry. Unlike Isaac, who has held the view that GST as a destination-based tax is advantageous for a consumer State such as Kerala, Balagopal has begged to differ.

P Rajeeve, who was feted for his exemplary performance in the Rajya Sabha by none other than late Arun Jaitley in a farewell accorded at the time of ending his term, will be in charge of Industry and Law. He has been elected from Kalamassery near Ernakulam, a hub of industrial activity in the State.

Replacement for Shailaja

MB Rajesh will be the Speaker of the new House. Veena George, a second-time MLA is the Minister of Health and Social Welfare, a ministry made famous by her illustrious predecessor KK Shailaja. The LDF had made a big surprise by replacing Shailaja citing need for ‘a generational change.’

Only two from the previous Pinarayi Vijayan ministry have been retained and both belong to minor constituent parties of the LDF.

Published on May 20, 2021

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