Thiruvananthapuram: In a minor cabinet expansion,
V Surendran Pillai of Kerala Congress (Thomas) faction was
today sworn in as minister and was allocated Ports and Youth
The induction of 54-year-old Pillai in the cabinet, when
hardly an year is left for the assembly polls, also resulted
in a minor re-allocation of portfolios with Sports Minister
M Vijayakumar of the CPI-M getting additional charge of Public
Governor R S Gavai administered oath of office and secrecy
to Pillai at a simple function at the Raj Bhavan attended by
Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan, his cabinet colleagues and
Pillai is the lone legislator of Kerala Congress faction
led by former Union Minister P C Thomas, emerged out of the
split in the Kerala Congress (J) led by P J Joseph two months
Joseph, who held the Public Works portfolio in the LDF
ministry, had quit the coalition and the ministry before
merging his party with the Kerala Congress (Mani) faction,
a constituent of the Congress-led UDF.
After Thomas quit the ministry, Finance Minister T M Thomas
Pillai, who represents Thiruvananthapuram West in the state
assembly,had an earlier stint in the house in 1984 elected
from Punalur through a by-election.
He had served as vice-chairman and general secretary of the
Kerala Congress and led its trade union wing.
Pillai said implementation of the Vizhinjam Deep Sea port
in South Kerala would be given a top priority.