In a huge development, Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja will not be a part of Pinarayi Vijayan's Cabinet as he commences his second term as the CM. This comes as a surprise as she has been internationally credited for leading the state's successful response against COVID-19. In fact, all other sitting Ministers have been dropped as well. The new Cabinet, thus, will have 11 Ministers- MV Govindan, K Radhakrishnan, KN Balagopal, P Rajeev, VN Vasavan, Saji Cherian, V Sivankutty, Vijayan's son-in-law Mohd Riyas, Dr R Bindu, Veena George and V Abdul Rahman.
On the other hand, Shailaja will now function as the party whip in the Legislative Assembly. LDF has zeroed in on ex-Lok Sabha MP MB Rajesh for the Speaker's post. The swearing-in ceremony of the new government will be held at 3.30 pm on May 20 at the Central Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram. As per the COVID-19 protocols, only 500 participants will be allowed and the entry and exit of the attendees shall be regulated. Moreover, only persons producing a negative novel coronavirus test report obtained within 48 hours or the final certification of COVID-19 vaccination shall be permitted entry into the Central Stadium.
Only the CM will be there (from the previous Kerala cabinet), rest 11 ministers are new. It is a blend of youngsters and the old: AN Shamseer, CPI(M) leader on the new Kerala cabinet that will be sworn in on May 20th pic.twitter.com/Uq7peoRJIW— ANI (@ANI) May 18, 2021
The polling for the 2021 state Assembly polls was held on April 6 with an impressive voter turnout of 74.06 per cent. After a hard-fought election campaign, LDF created history by becoming the first incumbent government in Kerala in nearly four decades to get re-elected. The tally of UDF, buoyed by its performance in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls where it won 19 out of 20 seats in the state, was reduced to 41 seats. In contrast, LDF bagged 99 out of 140 seats, 8 more than the 2016 election. UDF's vote share of 39.47% could not pose a challenge to the ruling alliance which garnered a vote share of 45.43%.
Widely credited for her handling of the COVID-19 crisis, Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja secured the highest margin of victory in the Assembly polls by winning Mattannur with a margin of 60,963 votes. All Ministers who were given tickets barring J Mercykutty Amma won their respective seats. In a shocking reversal for BJP, it not only won fewer votes as compared to 2016 but also failed to retain its lone seat- Nemom. While Kerala BJP president K Surendran lost from both Konni and Manjeshwar, 'Metroman' E Sreedharan could not secure a victory in the Palakkad seat.