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.
Centre-states review situation in Left-wing extremism affected areas
The Centre on Sunday held a high-level meeting with the states affected by Left-wing extremism (LWE) to review the situation.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah chaired the review meeting with the chief ministers and police chiefs of these states in the national capital.
Chief minister of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Bihar’s Nitish Kumar, Telangana CM K. Chandrashekhar Rao, Jharkhand’s Hemant Soren, Maharashtra’s Uddhav Thackeray and Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik were present in the meeting held at Vigyan Bhawan here. The Chief ministers of Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and West Bengal did not attend the review meeting.
Sources said that Shah talked about the need to formulate a new strategy to take decisive actions against these ultras.
The meeting is being held in two sessions. In the first session operational strategy to effective domination in the affected districts was discussed and states were asked to extend cooperation in anti-Maoist operations. In the second session, discussion on the execution of the developmental schemes in all affected states was being held.
It is learnt that in the meeting it was flagged that some states are not cooperating with the Centre in the fight against LWE due to their local issues. “Centre has sought more cooperation from the states to fight against the ultras in a calibrated manner,” sources said.
Odisha Chief Minister Patnaik requested the Union government to consider four laning of road NH 326 from Jeypore to Motu via Malkangiri, providing railway network in LWE affected districts, which are not part of it, providing mobile connectivity to areas of southern and western parts of states and providing banking facilities in these districts.
Sources claimed that Maharashtra Chief Minister Thackeray demanded additional central assistance for these districts for strengthening the policing network and to carry out development works.
It is further learnt that in the second session, the progress of the various infrastructural developmental schemes such as road requirement and connectivity, and also of aspirational districts programmes in the LWE affected districts were being discussed.
Chief Ministers and police chiefs of 10 affected states — Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra and Kerala were invited for the review meeting, but a few of them did not attend it for different reasons.
Priyanka to be in Lucknow from Monday to take stock of poll preps
Congress General Secretary In charge of Uttar Pradesh, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will be in Lucknow for a week from Monday evening to take stock of poll preparations in the state.
The Congress leaders say she will be meeting state leaders and also important party workers in Lucknow during her week long tour.
She will have scheduled meetings with the manifesto committee and with the election committee to assess the party’s poll preparedness in the state, sources said.
Priyanka Gandhi is likely to participate in one of the training programmes being organised by the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee.
The Congress in Uttar Pradesh will take out a ‘Congress Pratigya Yatra’ with the tagline — ‘Hum Vachan Nibhayenge’, ahead of the Assembly elections, due early next year.
Priyanka has said that the yatra would cover a distance of 12,000 kilometres and will pass through all major villages and towns to connect with the masses.
The date of the yatra is yet to be decided, though sources said it was likely to begin on the Gandhi Jayanti on October 2.
The party is readying the first list of candidates in October, months ahead of the elections. For this, the the Congress in Uttar Pradesh has extended the last date for applications for the Assembly polls. In a letter sent to all party units, UPCC president Ajay Kumar Lallu said that applications form from prospective candidates will now be received till October 10.
Earlier, the last date for submitting applications was September 25. Each candidate was asked to deposit a sum of Rs 11,000 with the form.
Party sources said that the reason for extending the date was that the number of applications received so far was ‘unsatisfactory’.
5,000 youth writing on contribution of unsung heroes: Modi in ‘Mann Ki Baat’
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’ on Sunday said that about 5,000 amateur young writers were working on the contribution of unsung heroes and urged citizens to contribute in the work.
He said, “Over 5,000 amateur writers are working towards promulgating the lives of Unsung Heroes who have contributed to India’s growth and Independence story. I urge more such people to come forward and share such stories of courage with us.”
He said the youth of our country have decided that they will bring the history of the unsung freedom fighters to the forefront and urged every citizen to contribute towards the same.
The Prime Minister emphasized on Khadi ahead of the Gandhi Jayanti and said that new innovative techniques will be adopted in the agri sector as the day coincides with All Bahadur Shastri’s birth anniversary.
He also said, “September is an important month, a month when we celebrate World River Day. A day to remember the contribution of our rivers that selflessly provide us with water, I urge the people across the country to mark a ‘river festival’ at least once a year.”
He also said the special ‘E-auction’ of gifts that he has received was underway and the proceeds from that would be dedicated to the ‘Namami Gange’ project.
Modi mentioned how people’s initiative had helped the Naga river in Tamil Nadu, which had dried up. But due to the initiatives of the rural women and the active public participation, the river was brought to life, and to this day there is plenty of water in the river.
He also said that in the western parts of India, especially Gujarat and Rajasthan, there is scarcity of water and people suffer droughts. In Gujarat, at the beginning of the rainy season people celebrate ‘Jal-Jilani Ekadashi’ which is similar to what we call today ‘Catch the Rain’.
The Prime Minister mentioned the courage and enthusiasm of a group of differently-abled people about their journey to the Siachen glacier. “This reflects our nation’s ‘Can Do’ attitude and that disability is not the end to achieving your goals.”
He said a few days ago, in the inaccessible area of Siachen, the team of 8 differently-abled people made a world record by waving the Indian flag on the ‘Kumar Post’ situated at an altitude of more than 15,000 feet.
The Prime Minister hailed the contribution of more than 350 teachers who have joined the service of going from village to village and ensuring handicapped children get admission in school during the pandemic.
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