Speculation about ministerial reshuffle

Amid speculation about an impending ministerial reshuffle in Kerala, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy met Congress president Sonia Gandhi, vice-president Rahul Gandhi and political secretary Ahmad Patel on Monday. Mr. Chandy said the question of reshuffle wasn’t discussed, adding that talks would have to begin in the State. “The United Democratic Front has authorised me to initiate the discussions on it,” Mr. Chandy said.

“The discussions will have to take place first in the State unit of the Congress, and then in the UDF,” he said.

Mr. Chandy also met senior leaders A. K. Antony, Vayalar Ravi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh. Mr. Chandy said he was satisfied with the performance of his ministerial colleagues but added that there was always scope for improvement and there were areas in which the government can do better.

UDF constituent Kerala Congress (B) has been demanding the induction of its representative K. B. Ganesh Kumar as minister. If the Congress accedes to this demand, the party will have to drop one of its ministers.

The Chief Minister said that the State government would seek to collaborate with the Centre for the development of the State. Mr. Chandy also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He became the first Congress Chief Minister to have called on the new Prime Minister, who promised him a structured meeting on Kerala’s development demands under various ministries, after the budget session.

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