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LDF engineers major cabinet reshuffle

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The new Ministers, Ganesh Kumar and Ramachandran, will take their oath of office on December 29. Mr. Vijayan will decide on their portfolios. File

The new Ministers, Ganesh Kumar and Ramachandran, will take their oath of office on December 29. Mr. Vijayan will decide on their portfolios. File
| Photo Credit: PTI

Even before the dust from the government’s tumultuous 36-day political odyssey from the halls of power in the government secretariat to town halls in 140 legislative assembly constituencies (Navkerala Sadas) barely settled, the Left Democratic State (LDF) State committee engineered a major reshuffle in the Pinarayi Vijayan cabinet.

LDF convenor E. P. Jayarajan, who chaired the State committee meeting on Sunday, told newspersons that the second Pinarayi Vijayan Government, which came to power in 2021, had promised cabinet berths to four allies with single MLAs in the Assembly on two-and-a-half-year sharing-term basis ending in November.

As per the understanding, Transport Minister Antony Raju of the Democratic Kerala Congress would quit office in favour of Kerala Congress (B) leader K. B. Ganesh Kumar.

Similarly, Kadanappally Ramachandran of Congress (S) would replace Ahamed Devarkovil of the Indian National League. However, the Navkerala Sadas had delayed the decision by a month.

Mr. Jayarajan said the LDF had stayed the course. Mr. Raju and Mr. Devarkovil submitted their resignations to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at the latter’s official residence in the Cliff House in the morning.

The new Ministers, Ganesh Kumar and Ramachandran, will take their oath of office on December 29. Mr. Vijayan will decide on their portfolios.

Mr. Jayarajan said the LDF had stayed the course and executed the reshuffle without heartburn or risk to the ruling front’s unity and cohesion. “Mr. Raju and Mr. Devarkovil had served the people well. The new entrants would uphold their legacy”, Mr. Jayarajan said.

Conversations about the looming cabinet reshuffle had prompted several other LDF allies to overtly and covertly express their desire to move out from the backbenches to the front-of-the-aisle seats in the Assembly.

The aspirants reportedly included the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Thomas. K. Thomas, MLA, as a replacement for Forest Minister A. K. Saseendran on the ground that Kuttanad needed a cabinet representation, and the Revolutionary Socialist Party (Leninist) leader Kovoor Kunjumon, a five-term legislator. However, such matters were reportedly on the LDF State Committee’s table.

The LDF also reportedly calculated that Ganesh Kumar, who is on the board of directors of the Nair Service Society, might help the government build bridges with the powerful social organisation that has been at odds with the government over a host of issues.

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