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DCM post: Crucial UDF meet begins

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DCM post: Crucial UDF meet begins
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Thiruvananthapuram: The crucial meeting of the UDF’s high-power committee has begun at Cliff House here on Thursday morning.

The meet is now all set to be crucial for the ruling coalition and the Congress, which has been toying with the idea of accommodating Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Ramesh Chennithala in a key Cabinet position.

Ahead of the UDF meeting to finalise its strategies, the IUML leaders met early Thursday morning here in the presence of Panakkat Shihab Thangal at the residence of Industries Minister P.K Kunhalikkutty. IUML leaders, including KPA Majeed, E Ahmed attended the meeting.

Fresh hurdles appear to have come up in the way of KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala's induction in UDF ministry with major ally Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), the second largest partner in UDF, cautioning Congress against taking a unilateral decision on creating the post of Deputy Chief Minister.

Reacting to the developments, Industries Minister P.K. Kunhalikutty has made it clear that it would be difficult for his party to surrender its number two slot. E T Muhammad Basheer, senior leader of IUML said Congress cannot take a decision on the issue of Deputy Chief Ministership without discussing it among the front partners.

"Congress is free to decide on inducting Chennithala as a Minister. But it cannot take a unilateral decision on the question of the Deputy Chief Minister", Basheer said.

Though IUML took a tough stand, another major UDF partner Kerala Congress (M) took a soft approach on the matter that has been troubling Congress as well as the ruling alliance as a whole.

"We have no problem in Ramesh being made the DCM. But before taking a decision, the issue should be discussed in UDF," Kerala Congress (M) leader and Finance Minister K M Mani said.

Induction of Chennithala in the Cabinet has been vexing the party in the State for over a week with rival groups associated with Chandy and Chennithala locked in wranglings over the portfolio and the rank of DCM.

While the Chandy camp is prepared to accommodate Chennithala giving him Revenue, the rivals want the KPCC president to be made the DCM with the key Home portfolio.

If Chennithala is brought to the Cabinet, that would also lead for revamp of KPCC including installation of a new State president.

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