Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday took oath for a second consecutive term as chief minister of Kerala breaking the decades-old alternate shift of power between Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the United Democratic Front (UDF) in the state. Mr Vijayan was sworn in as the Chief Minister by Governor Arif Mohammad Khan.
Governor Arif Mohammed Khan administered the oath of office to 76-year-old Vijayan in a low-key function at the Thiruvananthapuram Central Stadium which was held completely in adherencewith the COVID protocol.
Opposition Congress-UDF leaders were kept away from the function in view of the COVID-19 spread.
Vijayan is the only third Chief Minister in the state to be re-elected and the first to continue in office after completing a full term. The 76-year-old, who joined the Communist Party of India Marxist (CPM) in 1964 was elected as the 12th chief minister of Kerala after LDF came to power in 2016.
Regarding the oath ceremony, two days ago, a lawyer had written to Kerala HC Chief Justice asking to take up suo motu proceedings against swearing-in ceremony of the Kerala govt 'to protect lives of citizens' amid COVID-19 pandemic. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said that maximum 500 people will be allowed at the swearing-in ceremony.
The Kerala High Court on May 19 had directed the government to restrict the number of participants in the ceremonyin view of the pandemic.
The new Kerala government will be run by a slew of fresh faces with the exception of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. TP Ramakrishnan has also been appointed as the Parliamentary Party Secretary. While Vijayan remains the parliamentary party leader, the list of ministers now includes MV Govindan, K Radhakrishnan, KN Balagopal, P Rajeev, VN Vasavan, Saji Cherian, V Sivankutty, Mohd Riyas, Dr R Bindu, Veena George and V Abdul Rahman.
Vijayan had scripted history in the April 6 Assembly polls by leading the ruling Left front to a consecutive term, bucking the over four-decade-old trend in the state of the people choosing between the Communists and Congress-led governments alternatively.