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Rejig of Cabinet gets murkier as partners demands central berth

Rejig of Cabinet gets murkier  as partners demands central berth

Thiruvananthapuram: With the possibility of a reshuffle of Congress nominees in the UDF ministry by inducting KPCC chief Ramesh Chennithala gaining strength, key front partner Kerala Congress-M (KC-M) and IUML have renewed its demand for a berth in the Union ministry.

Chennithala, camping in New Delhi for the last few days, met AICC president Sonia Gandhi this afternoon fuelling speculation that his entry into the Oommen Chandy Government is imminent, possibly as Deputy Chief Minister.

Though two major allies of the Congress in the state - Indian Union Muslim League and KC-M - were expected to be consulted before firming up the ministerial shuffle, the leaders of the two parties cancelled their trip to New Delhi Thursday as planned earlier.

Both these components have reservations over induction of a Congress nominee as Deputy CM and often stated that as key partners they too have a claim for that slot, which is now non-existent.

In a statement issued in Kottayam, KC(M) general secretary Joy Abraham said the Congress high command should also address the grievances of partners while giving shape to the "Congress package."

Abraham said his party has been demanding a berth in the Union ministry for the last four years as a key ally of the Congress in Kerala and a member of the UPA at the Centre.

Kerala Congress (M) has a one Lok Sabha member - Jose K Mani, who represents Kottayam. He is son of KC(M) supremo and state Finance Minister K M Mani.

Congress mooted the idea of cabinet and organisational reshuffle to make over the image of the UDF dented by the solar panel scam and also equip the party for Lok Sabha polls.


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