Vijayan’s ‘pathshala’ for 17 new faces in cabinet


The second term of the Pinarayi Vijayan government began with 17 first time ministers as 20-member Kerala cabinet took oath.

Vijayan is planning to give the newcomers who were sworn-in on Thursday, a sort of “classroom training” led by experts in the field of administration and also on legislative issues.

As compared to the past, this is the least experienced Cabinet, that has been seen for a very long time where some of them will be handling very important portfolios and that too when the State is reeling under one of its worst crisis on account of the Covid pandemic and at a time when the state’s finances are appallingly poor.

The first round of training will begin at the CPI-M state party headquarters very soon.

After the preliminary training, Vijayan is expected to take one ‘class’ for his team which will cover all the gamut’s on how to handle power and the challenges that come with it.

Incidentally at the first cabinet meeting held soon after swearing in on Thursday, Vijayan gave a full length introductory speech explaining how each one should conduct themselves.

Among the 20 ministers, eight of them are first time legislators including Vijayan’s son-in-law — P.A. Mohammed Riyaz (Public Works and Tourism), R. Bindhu (Higher Education) wife of the acting CPI-M state secretary A. Vijayaraghavan, both of the CPI-M.

Then there are three from the CPI- which includes G.R. Anil (Food and Civil Supplies), J.Chinchoorani (Animal Husbandry) and P. Prasad (Agriculture) and Ahamed Devarkovil (Ports) of the INL party.

Apart from the above there are P. Rajeev (Industries) and K.N. Balagopal (Finance) but both of them have had a term in the Rajya Sabha.

Then there are nine who have been legislators in the past but are first time Ministers and includes five from the CPI-M- M.V. Govindan (Local Self Govt), Saji Cherian (Fisheries), V. Sivankutty (Education), V.N. Vasavan (Co-operation) and Veena George (Health).

K. Rajan of the CPI (Revenue) Roshy Augustine of the Kerala Congress (M) having Water Resources, Antony Raju (Transport) and V. Abdurahiman (Sports).

apart from them, there are three who have been minister’s in the past — former Speaker from the CPI-M- K. Radhakrishnan (Devasom), A.K. Saseendran of the NCP who handled Transport in the previous Vijayan government and now has been given – Forests and K. Krishnankutty of the JD (S) the Water Resources Minister in the previous government and now has been given the Power portfolio.

Incidentally in the outgoing Vijayan cabinet, seasoned CPI-M veterans Thomas Isaac (Finance), A.K. Balan (Law ) and G. Sudhakaran (Public Works and from the Left allies there were Kadanapally Ramachandran (Ports) and Mathew T. Thomas (Water Resources), were there, with lots of experience.