The Oommen Chandy Ministry was expanded on Monday with the induction of 13 more Ministers — nine from the Congress, three from the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and one from the Kerala Congress (M).
With this, the strength of the Cabinet rose to 20. Mr. Chandy and six other Ministers, each representing the United Democratic Front (UDF) constituents, had assumed office on May 18.Governor R.S. Gavai administered the oath of office and secrecy to the new Ministers at a function held on the lawns of Raj Bhavan.
The swearing-in was in alphabetical order, with P.K. Abdu Rabb (IUML) taking the oath first. He was followed by Adoor Prakash, A.P. Anil Kumar, Aryadan Mohammed, K. Babu, and C.N. Balakrishnan (all Congress), V.K. Ebrahim Kunju (IUML), P.K. Jayalakshmi and K.C. Joseph (both Congress), P.J. Joseph (Kerala Congress-M), M.K. Muneer (IUML), V.S. Sivakumar and Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan (both Congress).
The function was attended by a large gathering of public personalities from various walks of life. Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Ramesh Chennithala was present at the function. The entire thoroughfare near the Raj Bhavan was packed with UDF supporters who viewed the function from specially erected screens.
Earlier in the day, the Chief Minister held discussions with Mr. Chennithala and UDF convener P.P. Thankachan on the allocation of portfolios to the Congress Ministers.
Mr. Aryadan Mohammed will be the new Electricity Minister. Mr. Radhakrishnan will hold charge of the Revenue portfolio. Mr. Babu gets two portfolios of Excise and Ports. The portfolios of other Ministers are: Mr. Anil Kumar (Tourism and Culture), Ms. Jayalakshmi (Scheduled and Other Backward Classes Welfare), Mr. Prakash (Health and Coir Development), Mr. Sivakumar (Transport and Devaswoms), Mr. Balakrishnan (Cooperation), Mr. K.C. Joseph (Rural Development, Registration and Public Relations).
The Chief Minister is yet to allot the Fisheries portfolio. The formal notification on the allocation of portfolios will be issued soon. The portfolios of other Ministers are P.K. Kunhalikutty (Industry, Information Technology, Minority Welfare and Urban Development), P.K. Abdu Rabb (Education), V.K. Ebrahim Kunju (Public Works), M.K. Muneer (Panchayats and Social Welfare), K.M. Mani (Finance and Law), P.J. Joseph (Water Resources), K.B. Ganesh Kumar (Forest, Environment and Sports), T.M. Jacob (Food and Civil Supplies), K.P. Mohanan (Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Diary Development) and Shibu Baby John (Labour).