He will hold Water Resources portfolio; Opposition United Democratic Front boycotts function
Janata Dal (Secular) leader K. Krishnankutty was sworn in as Minister in the Left Democratic Front (LDF) Cabinet on Tuesday.
At a brief function at 5 p.m. at the Raj Bhavan auditorium here, Governor P. Sathasivam administered the oath of office and secrecy to Mr. Krishnankutty, who represents Chittur in the Assembly.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Ministers, legislators of the LDF, CPI State secretary Kanam Rajendran, LDF convener A. Vijayaraghavan, Chief Secretary Tom Jose, State Police Chief Loknath Behera, and top IAS and IPS officials were present.
Family members of Mr. Krishnankutty and Janata Dal (S) activists from the Chittur Assembly constituency were present.
The Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) boycotted the function. The lone BJP MLA O. Rajgopal and Independent MLA P.C. George were present.
Later, the Minister reached the Secretariat and assumed charge. Mr. Krishnankutty will hold the Water Resources portfolio.
The 74-year-old succeeds Mathew T. Thomas, who resigned on Monday as Minister for Water Resources.
Mr. Thomas was asked by the Janata Dal (S) national leadership to make way for Mr. Krishnankutty as part of rotating the ministerial berth among senior party legislators.
Mr. Krishnankutty, who entered politics through the Congress in 1964, was KPCC member, State treasurer of the National Labour Organisation, and State secretary general and national executive committee member of the Janata Dal.
Mr. Krishnankutty had served as the president of the Perumatty Service Cooperative Bank and vice president of the Palakkad District Cooperative Bank.
A self-proclaimed champion of farmers’ cause, Mr. Krishnankutty is an expert on inter-State water-sharing treaties involving Tamil Nadu. Hailing from Ezhuthani in Chittur in Palakkad, the Minister has become a role model for others by introducing integrated farming in his farmland.
He first represented Chittur in the Assembly in 1980 and later in 1982 and 1991.
With Mr. Krishnankutty joining the Cabinet, the Mathew T. Thomas faction has stepped up the demand for the post of party State president for the outgoing Minister.