Thiruvananthapuram: Sharpening the discord between Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Ramesh Chennithala, the ‘I’ faction in the Congress has taken up efforts to insert Chennithala into the chief minister post.
The leaders of the ‘I’ faction are all set to meet in Kochi Thursday after the the possibility of the latter's entry into the state cabinet with a plum portfolio got dimmed.
As per reports, the leaders have strengthened their demand to induct Chennithala into the CM post. They have reportedly demanded Chennithala be given the CM post in the last two years of the UDF government.
The ‘I’ faction leaders had held an unofficial meeting in Thiruvananthapuram Wednesday. According to leaders, there was an ‘understanding’ in the party that Oommen Chandy would step down from the CM post to make way for Chennithala for the last two years of the government.
What has added a serious dimension to the rumblings over the matter in the last few days is a newspaper interview in which Chennithala had purportedly stated that it would be difficult for him to maintain the same smooth equation with Chandy since he felt that he had been insulted over the ministerial issue.
"The party-government axis will never be the same again. The Chief Minister can go his way and I will go my way. There will not be a compromise anymore," Ramesh told the paper.
When reporters sought his comments, Chennithala said: "I have not given any official interview to anybody", declining to entertain any further queries on the matter.
Political sources expect the Congress high command to intervene in the matter and settle the issue at the earliest as restoring organisational unity is the key in the run up to Lok Sabha polls.
UDF Convener P P Thankachan had held talks with Chennithala Wednesday.