Chandy revives move for cabinet reshuffle

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has revived the move for the cabinet reshuffle, stalled by a controversy over the induction of Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Ramesh Chennithala.

By T K Devasia

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Published: Sun 21 Jul 2013, 1:12 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 3:49 PM

Chandy lobbied for his party high command’s nod for the reshuffle during his visit to New Delhi on Friday. He discussed the matter with Defence Minister A.K Antony, All India Congress Committee (AICC) vice-president Rahul Gandhi, AICC president’s political secretary Ahmed Patel.

Chandy had discussed the political situation prevailing in the state, including the cabinet reshuffle, with AICC president Sonia Gandhi last week. However, Mrs. Gandhi wanted him to focus his immediate attention on settling issues in the ruling United Democratic Front, triggered by the solar scam and other scandals.

The chief minister told reporters after the talks with senior leaders that the party high command would soon take a decision on the cabinet reshuffle. He said he was ready to undertake the exercise.

When asked about the induction of Ramesh into the cabinet, Chandy said that he wanted the party chief to join the government. He said a decision on the portfolio to be allotted to him will be taken after Ramesh conveys his decision.

The KPCC chief had earlier told the high command that he was not interested in joining the ministry. He expressed his reference to continue as the KPCC president till the Lok Sabha elections next year.

Chandy rejected the opposition demand for his resignation in the solar scam, saying that the allegations against him and his family were part of a political conspiracy by the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led opposition.

He said that a high-level police team was investigating the case and his government had nothing to hide. “My government is open to any kind of investigation once the ongoing police probe gets over,” he added. He said conceding the opposition demand for a judicial inquiry before completing the ongoing police investigation will help the culprits to escape. Chandy said that his government did not want to go those who cheated the people scot free. —

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