Cabinet Revamp: UDF Partners Hail Move
By Arun Jayan | ENS | Published: 01st January 2014 08:45 AM |
The cleansing act in the Congress camp by the high command brokered by Defence Minister A K Antony ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, sends a clear signal to the UDF partners that the Congress leadership wants the UDF in the state to face the upcoming polls unitedly.
The election debacle suffered by the Congress in the recent Assembly polls in other states was also behind the move to induct Ramesh Chennithala in the cabinet and foster unity between two warring factions of ‘I’ and ‘A’ groups in the Congress headed by Chennithala and Chief Minister Oommen Chandy respectively.‘’In all likelihood when the seat-sharing discussion starts on January 3, Congress will retain 16 seats. One seat may go for Socialist Janata (Democratic) and the additional seats demanded by IUML and KC(M) will be turned down.Alternate compromise formula to appease the allies may be worked out,’’ sources monitoring the developments said.
The UDF partners which had demanded to the Congress high command that the problems in the Congress in the state be settled before the Lok Sabha polls, welcomed the intervention to induct Chennithala into the cabinet. Industries Minister and IUML leader P K Kunhalikutty said that the induction of Chennithala was discussed with the League and that his entry would bring in more confidence in the Congress and the UDF. “The decision to induct Chennithala in the cabinet is a welcome move. This will help to strengthen the UDF. The decision will not only be beneficial by way of political gains but will have an overall good impact. Whoever Congress selects as KPCC president, the League will extend support,’’ he said. He also said that League does not believe in being first or second in a party andthere is no need to discuss it. Finance Minister and Kerala Congress (M) leader K M Mani said that he welcomes the entry of Chennithala into the cabinet.‘’The ministerial post of Chennithala and election of new KPCC president is the internal affair of the Congress. There is no need for us to say any opinion on it, he said.
However, community organisations like NSS and SNDP continued their tirade against the UDF with NSS general secretary G Sukumaran Nair saying that NSS is least bothered on anyone’s entry and exit in the cabinet. “It is the internal affair of the Congress whom to induct or remove. A member of the majority community attaining a key post is good. The NSS had demanded this earlier. But don’t put the entry of Chennithala into the cabinet in NSS account,’’ he said.He alleged that majority community had been getting a raw deal from the government. “There is no particular opinion about the induction of KPCC chief Ramesh Chennithala into the cabinet. The NSS has not gained anything from persons including Ramesh Chennithala,’’ he said.