Thiruvanantha-puram: The Congress-led UDF and the media are again abuzz over Kerala’s proposed cabinet re-jig since Speaker G Karthikeyan expressed his desire on Friday to step down to return to active politics.
Chandy had set the ball rolling in March, announcing a cabinet reshuffle after the Lok Sabha poll results were out but nothing happened after the Congress suffered a debacle.
It has all begun again with political leaders jumping into the fray, thanks to an over-energetic media. Senior Congress leader and United Democratic Front (UDF) convenor PP Thankachen said: “... the decision of Karthikeyan’s wish to step down will be decided by the party high command.”
K Muraleedharan, son of former chief minister late K. Karunakaran said: “Oh no, I do not want to be either the speaker or a minister, I am happy being a legislator.”
Labour Minister Shibhu Baby John of the RSP(B) said: “... what I have come to know about re-jig is through the media only and hence am unavailable to make any comment.” Congress spokesperson MM Hassan said: “No discussions have taken in our party with regard to a cabinet reshuffle, so nothing can be said as of now.”
The task before Chandy is how to go about it as in the Congress, the Ramesh Chennithala (Home Minister)-led faction is a bit rattled because if Karthikeyan, given his seniority is going to be accommodated, a plum portfolio has to be given.
This means one of Chennithala’s close aides will have to hand over either the revenue or the health portfolio. Then comes the question of giving the RSP(B) -- whose numbers have risen from one to three in the assembly -- a better portfolio and also the demand of re-inducting KB Ganesh Kumar after he quit over marital issues last year. The duo have since separated officially.
With the Congress president in the US on a private trip and returning only after July 25, it appears the media here will have a rollicking time. IANS