Pinarayi Vijayan cuts cake ahead of first LDF meeting after retaining power.. Image Source: IANS News

Thiruvananthapuram, May 17 : Taking full credit for leading the ruling CPI-M led LDF to a second term, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan ahead of the first meeting of the Left Democratic Front after the election results, celebrated the occasion by cutting a big cake here on Monday.

Left Democratic Front convenor A. Vijayaraghavan told the media that a 21-member cabinet will be sworn in on Thursday and including Vijayan there will be 12 cabinet ministers from the CPI-M.

In the 140-member Kerala Assembly the Left won 99 seats, while the Congress-led Opposition secured 41.

The others include four from the CPI, one each from the JD (S) and the NCP, while four single legislator parties will share two cabinet posts with each party getting a term of 2.5 years each.

Vijayan himself took the lead and after cutting the cake gave a piece to all the leaders who came for the meeting.

Among the decisions that have been agreed to is that the single party legislator parties which include the Kerala Congress (B), Nationalist Kerala Congress, Congress-S and the INL is that all of them will be given a cabinet post but they will have to share two cabinet ministers post between the four.

Antony Raju of the Nationalist Kerala Congress will get a term of 2.5 years and after that he will have to move out for present State Minister for Ports, Kadanapally Ramachandran of the Congress -S. Ahamed Devarcoil will take the first term and midway will make way for actor turned former State Minister K.B. Ganesh Kumar.

Emerging out of the LDF meeting, Raju said as things stand he will be the one to get the first term and we as a party are extremely thankful to the CM for giving us this opportunity.

Kerala Congress (Mani) party which has 5 legislators, whose leader Jose K.Mani, son of late K.M. Mani, was looking downcast as he lost the election. He said that his party had wished to get two cabinet ministers posts, but due to limitations it has not happened.

"We have been given one Minister's post and the post of Chief Whip (which comes with cabinet status). We did ask for two ministerial posts, but there are limitations, so we settled for one," said Mani.

Nationalist Congress Party leader T.P. Peethambaran who has two legislators will get a cabinet minister. He said their national leader Praful Patel is arriving on Tuesday and the final decision will be made then on who will be their party nominee for the minister's post.

Likewise the national president of the Janata Dal (S) H.D. Deva Gowda will decide who of their two legislators will become a Minister.

Even though they have one legislator and are a full fledged ally of the Left, the Loktantrik Janata Dal (S) is the only one who failed to get a cabinet post.

Another unlucky legislator is five-time winner Kovoor Kunjumon. Though his faction of the RSP is not an ally, he has been a fellow traveller of the Left after coming out of the RSP faction which is presently in the Congress led Opposition. He also failed to get any post.

The CPI-M and the CPI are busy finalizing their ministers and are expected to announce the names in a day or two. Indications are barring K.K. Shailaja -- the outgoing popular Health Minister, all will be new faces. All eyes are on P.A. Mohammed Riyaz on whether he will find a slot in the CPI-M list.

Riyaz, the All India president of the DYFI (the youth wing of the CPI-M), is the son-in-law of Vijayan. He married Vijayan's daughter Veena Vijayan last year. It was the second marriage of both.

While the Speaker's post will be taken by the CPI-M, the deputy speaker will go to the CPI.

-- The story has been published from a wire feed without any modifications to the text

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