In a major overhaul Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday (May 18) announced the names of 11 new ministers of his cabinet.
Earlier on Monday, he had dropped all his ministers, including health minister K K Shailaja, from his cabinet.
She has been made the whip of the CPM. The news of her exit from the cabinet has come as a surprise as she had earned a lot of reputation for good work in tackling the corona virus.
M B Rajesh of the CPM was elected as the Speaker of the state Assembly. The new government will take oath on May 20. The Left Democratic Front had recently won 99 seats in the 140 member Kerala Assembly. This was the first time in the last over four decades that any alliance had won election for two consecutive times.
This victory is largely being attributed to Pinarayi Vijayan’s own efforts in tackling the floods of 2019 and corona virus in 2020 and 2021. The first case of COVID-19 in India was detected in Kerala on January 13, 2020.
The latest effort is being interpreted as a move to organisationally strengthen the CPM and CPI and bring in fresh faces in the ministry. The appointment of Shailaja as party’s whip has confirmed this fact.
Kerala is the only state in the country where the Left continues to exist. In the recently held West Bengal poll the Left Front drew blank though it contested in alliance with the Congress, which interestingly is the main rival in Kerala.