The swearing in of Pinarayi Vijayan as the Kerala Chief Minister for the second time in a row, might be delayed as the state is in the grip of a severe second wave of coronavirus where the test positivity rate has been hovering around 25 per cent for a while with the total number of active cases crossing the three lakh mark.
Vijayan breasted the tape by securing 99 seats in the 140-member Kerala Assembly.
At a meeting of the CPI-M State Secretariat held here on Tuesday, Vijayan according to sources took up this issue. It was instantly agreed to and the swearing in might be postponed to the third week of this month.
The meeting however did not discuss any names for the new cabinet, even though quite a few are being circulated.
The meeting also decided that the CPI-M will have one to one talks with the allies to finalise the details of the cabinet formation. Once that is done then the Left Democratic Front will meet.
According to the rules the maximum strength of the cabinet cannot exceed 21 including the Chief Minister.
In his first outing as CM Vijayan kept the count to 20.
Apart from that there are three more crucial posts which include the Assembly Speaker, Deputy Speaker and the Chief Whip, all of which come with cabinet status.
In the outgoing cabinet, including Vijayan the CPI-M had 13 members, the CPI 4 with one each to the three allies, but this time there are more allies.
The Kerala Congress (M) which has five legislators has expressed the wish to get 2 posts. Besides, there is the Janata Dal (S) and the Nationalist Congress Party with two legislators each, the Congress (S), Kerala Congress (B), Democratic Kerala Congress, LJD, INL and one Independent legislator who won a 5th straight term.
Vijayan is considering if one member parties can be given a cabinet post and since his will be the final word, all eyes are on him.