Ommen Chandy inducts 13 new ministers



Thiruvananthapuram: The newly-elected members of the Kerala Assembly will take oath on June 1 while election of the new Speaker and the Deputy Speaker will be held on June 2, Chief Minister Ommen Chandy said on Monday.

Addressing a press conference after a cabinet meeting following the swearing-in of 13 new ministers, Chandy said the cabinet decided to recommend to Governor RS Gavai to convene a short session of the 13th Kerala Assembly on June 1 and 2.

It was also decided to recommend the name of senior Congress legislator N Sakatan Nadar to be appointed as pro-tem Speaker.

Referring to other cabinet decisions, Chandy said the period of rank list of Kerala Public Service Commission which would end on May 31 would be extended by another six months following complaints that appointments could not be made in view of the poll code in force.

The Cabinet discussed matters connected with the proposal to supply rice at Rs one per kg to BPL groups. The scheme would be implemented in association with the Centre and to work out modalities, a meeting would be held with Union Food Minister K V Thomas on June 4, he said.

"Government wanted to present to the people of Kerala the scheme as a gift during the coming Onam Festival season," Chandy said.

A meeting to discuss the legal and other issues connected with the operation of other state lotteries and steps to check the 'exploitation' by the other state lottery operators would be held with authorities concerned soon, he said.

Problems faced by people whose land had been acquired for the Vallarpadam Container Terminal Project at Moolampalli in Kochi would be discussed, he said.

Though the project had already been implemented, issues connected with land acquisition had not been settled. The rehabilitation of those who lost land would be taken up, he said.

The Cabinet decided to appoint senior lawyer KP Dandapani as the new Advocate General, Chandy said.

PTI