Kanam Rajendran and Pinarayi Vijayan | Photo: Mathrubhumi archives
Thiruvananthapuram: The CPI leadership has decided that they should not compromise for anything less than four minister posts in the cabinet. The party will take this stance during the bilateral talks with CPM. If the CPM reduces the minister posts for CPI, they will get Chief Whip post.
CPI had four ministers, deputy speaker and chief whip posts in the first Pinarayi Vijayan government. The bilateral meeting regarding the cabinet formation will commence on Thursday. This will start after reaching a consensus with the CPI. The CPI state executive will examine the agreement in this meeting.
In the beginning, CPM had only 12 ministers including the chief minister in the first Pinarayi-led cabinet and CPI had four ministers and deputy speaker. When EP Jayarajan resigned minister post, MM Mani was inducted as new minister. Later, when Jayarajan was reinstated without replacing MM Mani, the number of ministers rose to 13. CPI was given Chief Whip post instead of this.
It was suggested that CPI and CPM should reduce number of ministers in order to consider the newly joined allies Kerala Congress (M) and others. CPI leaders are of the opinion that they should compromise in proportionate to the number of ministers cut by the CPM.
If CPM reduced their ministers to 12, CPI only need to give back Chief Whip post. CPI has decided that there is no need to reduce the number of ministers from 4. Also, the CPI expects some changes in the departments of ministers.
Major departments like revenue are unlikely to change. CPM leaders want to take back the agriculture department. This will be finalised only after the bilateral talks. The departments handled by each ally will be decided according to the departments preferred by the Kerala Congress.