CPI(M) strongman Pinarayi Vijayan was sworn in as the 22nd Chief Minister of Kerala on Wednesday.
The ceremony which began at 4 pm was held at the Central Stadium adjoining the state secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram.
18 other ministers were also administered the oath of office and secrecy by Kerala Governor P Sathasivam.
Former Prime Minister and Janata Dal Secular leader H.D. Deve Gowda, CPI (M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, politburo members Prakash Karat and MA Baby, Rajya Sabha deputy chairman P.J. Kurien, former Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy and several of his cabinet colleagues were some of political leaders who attended the ceremony.
VS Achuthanandan, the only living founding member of the CPI(M) who was the face of the party’s election campaign arrived to a thunderous applause.
A slew of celebrities like film directors Ranjit and Shaji Kailas, actors Madhu, Mammotty, Dileep, Navya Nair, Renji Panicker, Madhulal, dancer Methil Devika perked up the glamour quotient of the event.
A number of Christian priests, Hindu and Muslim spiritual leaders also participated in the event devoid of pomp and extravaganza.
Some 40,000 supporters of CPI(M) have packed into the stadium to witness the swearing in of Pinarayi who served as secretary of the party’s Kerala unit for 17 years.
Pinarayi will handle three important portfolios of home affairs, vigilance and IT.
Economist turned politician Dr. T.M. Thomas Issac will be the finance minster, while his party colleague EP Jayarajan got industry portfolio.
Other ministers from CPI(M) include KK Shylaja, AK Balan, TP Ramakrishnan, G Sudhakaran and C Raveendran.
Left Democratic Front (LDF) major partner CPI has been given four ministries, other parties like Janata Dal-Secular, Congress-S and NCP were allotted a minister each.
On the eve of his swear-in Pinarayi had announced several austerity measures.
The number of ministers have been reduced from 21 to 19. The personal staff of each ministers will be limited to 25 from the present strength of 30. It was also announced that the official residence of ministers will not be refurbished.
Team Pinarayi and their portfolios
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Thomas Isaac – Finance
E.P. Jayarajan – Industries, Sports
Sudhakaran – Public Works, Registration
AK Balan – Law, Culture, Backward Community Development
Mercykuttiyamma – Fisheries, Traditional Industries
Kadakampally Surendran – Electricity, Devaswom Board
K.K. Shailaja – Health, Social welfare
T.P. Ramakrishnan – Labour and Excise
A.C. Moideen – Co-operation, Tourism
K.T. Jaleel – Local Self Government
C. Raveendranath – Education
E. Chandrasekharan – Revenue
V.S. Sunil Kumar – Agriculture
Thilothaman – Food and Civil Supplies
Raju – Environment and Forest
Kadannappally Ramachandran – Ports
Mathew T. Thomas: Water resources and Irrigation