THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Pala by-election on Monday is crucial for the Left ally NCP which has currently two MLAs in the Assembly—state Transport Minister A K Saseendran and party state president Thomas Chandy.
With factional issues within the NCP no secret, rumours are rife that if party candidate Mani C Kappan wins, the Chandy faction may push for ministership for Kappan. Giving credence to these reports, CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan on Saturday said all legislators are eligible to be ministers. He was responding to a question on whether Kappan would be made a minister in case of a win.
The current Pinarayi regime has till now had two NCP ministers in Kuttanad MLA Thomas Chandy and Elathur MLA A K Saseendran. Thomas Chandy took over after Saseendran stepped down, following the honey-trap row. Chandy too however had to resign later, after facing encroachment allegations. Following this, Saseendran had then returned to the state cabinet.
Though there are no open fights between the two factions, the presence of a third MLA could well lead to discussions over sharing of ministership. There are indications that the Chandy faction might push for cabinet rank for Mani C Kappan, if he wins the bypoll. In that scenario, the party national leadership will have the final word.
Transport Minister A K Saseendran however rejected these speculations. “Going by the voters’ response from Pala, it is the Left candidate who has an upper hand. However the party is yet to hold talks about having a new minister,” Saseendran told Express.
Ministership for Kappan
With factional issues within the NCP no secret, rumours are rife that if party candidate Mani C Kappan wins, the Chandy faction may push for ministership for Kappan