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Veena George to replace KK Shailaja as Kerala health minister; List of new ministers and portfolios
Vijayan has inducted all new faces on the team, which will be sworn in on Thursday
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday left everyone surprised when he unveiled his new team, dropping all sitting Communist Party of India (Marxist) ministers, including acclaimed Health Minister KK Shailaja.
Journalist-turned-two-time-legislator Veena George, who is the wife of present CPI-M secretary A Vijayaraghavan, is set to replace Shailaja as Kerala's Health Minister. This may be recalled that Shailaja was described as a "rockstar health minister" by a section of international media last year for her skilled handling of the first wave of COVID-19 in Kerala.
Vijayan's son-in-law PA Mohammed Riyaz, who is also the national president of the CPI-M's youth wing, DYFI, has been shouldered with the responsibility of the Public Works Department Ministry and the Tourism Ministry. Riyaz married Vijayan's daughter Veena Vijayan in 2020.
Vijayan has inducted all new faces on the team, which will be sworn in on Thursday at the Central Stadium by Governor Arif Mohammed Khan at 3.30 pm.
List of Kerala ministers and their portfolios:
Pinarayi Vijayan - Public administration, home, vigilance, IT, planning and Metro
KN Balagopal - Finance
Veena George - Health
V Sivankutty - Education
P Rajeev – Industries
K Radhakrishnan - Devaswom, SC/ST
R Bindhu – Higher Education
Antony Raju - Transport
MV Govindan - Local self-government
PA Mohammed Riyaz - PWD, Tourism
VN Vasavan – Excise, Labour
K Krishnankutty - Electricity
Ahammad Devarkovil – Port
Saji Cheriyan - Fisheries, culture
V Abdurahiman - Minority affairs and NRI
J Chinchu Rani - Animal Husbandry, Dairy
AK Saseendran - Forest
The Speaker's post has gone to MB Rajesh, while senior CPI legislator Chitayem Gopakumar will be the new Deputy Speaker.
The CPI(M) will have 12 members, including Vijayan, in the 21-member Cabinet. The CPI and Kerala Congress (M) have also named new faces-- four and one, respectively, to represent their parties in the Cabinet.