The first session of the 15th Kerala Assembly to start on May 24
While Pinarayi is the chief prime minister to assume power for a second consecutive term, VD Satheesan has been appointed leader of the opposition.
The first session of the 15th Kerala Assembly will be held on May 24-25. The Cabinet meeting held after Pinarayi Vijayan’s second government swearing-in ceremony on May 20, Thursday, decided to recommend that the governor convene the first session of the 15th Legislative Assembly on May 24-25.
The 15th Legislative Assembly stands out in many ways. Pinarayi is the state’s first chief minister to assume power for a second consecutive term. For the congressional-led opposition, there has been a change to the highest post since the Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala era, with the Congressional high command appointing VD Satheesan as the head of the opposition on May 22. In the previous 14th Assembly, Ramesh Chennithala was the leader of the opposition.
The CPI (M), led by the Democratic Left Front, won a resounding victory in the State Assembly elections held in April. The alliance won 99 of the total 140 seats, while the congressional-led United Democratic Front only managed to win 41 seats.
Pinarayi’s second ministry replaced the CPI (M) ministers who were in Cabinet in the first term with new faces. The party’s decision to exclude KK Shailaja, the outgoing cabinet health minister who had been very well received for his handling of the COVID-19 situation, drew much criticism. Now, in the second term, Shailaja has been chosen as Chief Whip of the IPC (M). Pinarayi’s new cabinet has three female ministers – R Bindu, Veena George and J Chinchu Rani.
While Veena George is the new Minister of Health, Bindu is the Minister of Higher Education and Chinchu Rani has been given the Portfolios of Livestock and Dairy Development. Bindu and Veena George are both from CPI (M) while Chinchu Rani is a leader of CPI, the second largest constituent of LDF.
Another notable presence in the Assembly will be the presence of KK Rema, the leader of the Revolutionary Marxist Party, which won the seat of Vadakara. Rema’s late husband, TP Chandrasekharan, was an IPC (M) leader who started the RMP in 2009 after breaking away from the IPC (M). TP was killed in 2012 and three CPI (M) leaders were also sentenced.