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Cabinet rejig: Congress to hold talks with allies

Cabinet rejig: Congress to hold talks with allies

Thiruvananthapuram: Talks are progressing on the proposed cabinet reshuffle, said Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy who returned from Delhi Tuesday.

"Now we will speak with the allies of the ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) here and once that is over, then the discussions with some allies will take place in Delhi," said Chandy.

Chandy and state party president Ramesh Chennithala were in Delhi for the past two days and each of them held closed-door meetings with top party leaders as they have not been able to resolve the issue of Chennithala's likely entry into the cabinet.

The dispute is on the portfolio that Chennithala should be given. The Chandy faction does not want Chennithala to get the prized home portfolio, while Chennithala and his faction have decided not to settle for anything less than home.

While Chennithala is in Delhi, Chandy air dashed to the state capital to preside over a meeting of the parliament members from the state and is expected to go to Delhi Wednesday.

Over the years, the Congress party has been deeply divided between the top leaders with Karunakaran-Antony factions holding centre stage for close to three decades.

After Karunakaran's clout weakened and Antony moved on to the centre, Chandy's was the last word in the Congress politics in the state for a few years till 2010 when the erstwhile Karunakaran faction and a few disgruntled leaders of the Chandy faction united under Chennithala.

"There are some issues in the party here which are being thrashed out with the help of the party high command. As both Chandy and Chennithala are disciplined party leaders, all issues will come to their logical conclusion in the coming few days and all will abide by the directives of the party high command," said newly appointed Congress spokesperson Rajmohan Unnithan.

An earlier plan of Chandy to accommodate Chennithala as the deputy chief minister was shot down by the second biggest ally of the UDF, the Indian Union Muslim League, which on two previous occasions held the post of the deputy chief minister.

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