The swearing-in ceremony of Kerala's Left Democratic Front government headed by Pinarayi Vijayan will reportedly be a low-key event in Thiruvananthapuram, with only the elected legislators and ministers, along with officials and media persons, present. The event has been scheduled for May 20.This decision comes after Pinarayi Vijayan faced criticism following an announcement on Friday that the swearing-in will be held at the Central Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram. This gave rise to a lot of debate regarding the ceremony and reports suggesting that it was being planned as a mass event with the participation of 750 to 800 people. The latest decision to have a low-key affair is believed to be to counter the criticism from various corners.
On Saturday, the Kerala unit of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) had recommended that the swearing-in ceremony of the government be done virtually in the wake of rising COVID-19 cases.
The Left Democratic Front, led by the CPI(M), retained power with a comfortable majority. The Front won 99 out of the total 140 Assembly seats.
"We are actually just discussing the ministerial berths with the coalition leaders. It's for the government to decide on the number of people to take part in the ceremony. It could be with a smaller number of people only," LDF Chairman A Vijayaraghavan, who is also the acting state secretary of the CPI(M), told TNM.
According to reports, admission to the Central Stadium, as per the revised decision, will only be for those who have gotten both doses of the vaccine and have a COVID-19 negative certificate.
The IMA in a statement issued by its president PT Zacharias and its secretary P Gopikumar said that the way the swearing-in is conducted would send a strong message to the people regarding how COVID-19 is being tackled. They also pointed out that one reason why the second wave has been very bad was on account of the relaxations in COVID-19 protocol during the recent elections.
Though the CPI(M), neither during nor post the elections have publicly announced that Pinarayi Vijayan would be the CM, no one expects that the ministry would be led by anyone else.