Janata Dal,Secular leader and Chittur MLA K Krishnankutty was sworn in as the new Minister for Water Resources in the Kerala government on Tuesday. The oath of office and secrecy was administered by Kerala governor P Sathasivam.
K Krishnankutty, a farmer and strong supporter of the co-operative sector, replaced his party colleague Matthew T Thomas, who resigned from his post on Monday in accordance with directions issued by JD(S) leaders.
Two-time minister Matthew Thomas, from Thiruvalla constituency in Pathanamthitta, had submitted his resignation to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at the CM’s residence, Cliff House, on Monday.
He told that he had not listed any conditions for his resignation, and that the JD(S) party would not split due to him being asked to tender his resignation, and that he would not be joining the Congress-led United Democratic Front either.
The swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday was reportedly attended by Matthew T Thomas, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, his Cabinet colleagues and other legislators from the ruling front, and the lone BJP MLA in Kerala, O Rajagopal.
The ceremony was boycotted by the Congress-led opposition as a protest against the state government’s allegedly harsh stance on the ongoing Sabarimala temple women’s entry issue.
Four-time legislator and first-time minister K Krishnankutty began his political career with the Congress, but later joined the JD(S).
The JD(S) is a key partner in the currently ruling Left Democratic Front, being the third largest ally of the CPI(M)-led government in Kerala, and has a presence of three legislators in the Kerala Assembly.