Induction of Chennithala could get the estranged 'I' faction to CM's side

Discussions are rife in the State unit of the Congress about a possible cabinet reshuffle as the Chief Minister is all set to meet the party bosses at New Delhi on Saturday.

Many senior functionaries of the party and Cabinet Ministers believe that the image of the party and the government sullied by the solar scam could be lifted through a cabinet rejig. Induction of KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala into the cabinet led by Oommen Chandy would be one way of ironing out the organisational tiff that, too, has hit the party hard, feel party insiders.

The discussions about the induction of Mr. Chennithala ended in a bitter note as the party could not identify a portfolio befitting the stature of KPCC president. As the discussions over the suitable portfolio prolonged endlessly, the KPCC president himself opted out of the race by openly stating that he was not interested in joining the Cabinet.

Discussions about the cabinet reshuffle once again gathered momentum with Defence Minister A.K. Antony speaking out in support of the beleaguered Chief Minister. He had openly ruled out any change in government in the State.

A senior Union Minister from the State felt that all issues plaguing the government and the party in the State could be solved by the induction of Mr. Chenniathala to the State Cabinet. It was a reality that party’s image and that of the State cabinet had taken a beating following the solar scam, he said. If damage control measures were not initiated on time, the party would have to pay a heavy price in the ensuing Parliament polls, he said.

According to a party national functionary, the cabinet reshuffle would become a reality soon and the scale of the change would be known only after the meeting of the Chief Minister with the AICC president.

A Cabinet Minister close to the Chief Minister felt that even the Green brigade in the party was attempting to get its nominee inducted into the Cabinet.

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