With a reshuffle of the Oommen Chandy Cabinet becoming almost certain in the not-too-distant future as a fallout of the solar scam, the shift in the role of KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala as a minister is going to be a forced affair at the instance of the Congress high command.
Ramesh is not that keen to join the Cabinet at this juncture. The ‘I’ faction arraigning behind Ramesh is also skeptical, citing bitter experiences of the past as well as the fact that he would have to unnecessarily bear the yolk for the ‘solar sin’.
However, the ‘I’ faction feels that Ramesh will have no other option but to yield to the high command diktat tuned by party president Sonia Gandhi.
The hardliners in the ‘A’ faction, who had opposed the entry of Ramesh into a prime slot in the government earlier, have no issue this time.
It is believed that senior Congress leader and Defence Minister A K Antony is also reportedly keen to see an end to the crisis. “When I met him in New Delhi a couple of days ago, he asked me to prevail upon Ramesh,” said Joseph Vazhakkan MLA, a confidant of the KPCC president.
Ahmed Patel, political secretary to Sonia, is expected to play a key role in facilitating an image makeover for the Chandy Ministry.
Ramesh reportedly wants to ensure that in the event of his entry into the Cabinet, his successor should be of his choice. Assembly Speaker G Karthikeyan’s name is being sounded by Ramesh as KPCC president.