Two ministers in the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government of Kerala - Ahamed Devarkovil and Antony Raju - submitted their resignations to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday, December 24. Two other Members of Legislative Assembly, KB Ganesh Kumar representing Kerala Congress (B) and Kadannappalli Ramachandran of Congress (S), will be sworn in as ministers after an oath-taking ceremony on December 29, said LDF convener EP Jayarajan. Their portfolios are yet to be decided.
While Ahamed Devarkovil who represents the Indian National League (INL) served as Minister for Ports, Museums and Archaeology in the Cabinet, Antony Raju from Janadhipathya Kerala Congress was the Minister of Transport. The reshuffle honours an agreement between LDF constituents during the Cabinet formation in 2021.
The reshuffle was supposed to happen in November and the delay is now attributed to the Nava Kerala Sadas, an outreach programme of the Kerala government during which the Chief Minister and his council of ministers travelled through the state.
Antony Raju expressed his satisfaction in getting an opportunity to serve the people. “I am stepping down after distributing the pending salaries of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) employees,” he said.
Ganesh Kumar, who has previously headed the Transport Ministry under the Antony government of 2001, said, “I consider this as a recognition by the LDF government and the people of Kerala. I have several plans to develop the public transport system and am expecting support from the public.”
With the reshuffle, at least one MLA from every constituent party of the LDF, except from the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), has become part of the cabinet.