The induction of Kodikkunnil Suresh and Shashi Tharoor brings up the largest contingent of representation for Kerala in the Union Council of Ministers. This is for the first time that Kerala is getting eight slots in the Union Council of Ministers, which includes two in the Cabinet rank.

The induction of Kodikkunnil Suresh and Shashi Tharoor brings up the largest contingent of representation for Kerala in the Union Council of Ministers. This is for the first time that Kerala is getting eight slots in the Union Council of Ministers, which includes two in the Cabinet rank.

The most interesting part of the inclusion of Mr. Suresh and Mr. Tharoor is that it does not follow the dynamics of communal representation usually adopted when it comes to the Congress in Kerala. Though Mr. Suresh’s induction can be considered a Dalit representation, the five-time MP gets his job as a reward for being patient and owes it to his equations with Defence Minister and Congress Working Committee member A.K. Antony.

He was tipped to get Railways, but Labour Ministry could also be challenging. He would have to bank on his long years of experience as a Member of Parliament and his stints as AICC secretary and KPCC general secretary to make the best of portfolio given to him. Mr. Suresh said that as the son of an agriculture labourer, he was only too proud to hold charge of the Labour portfolio.

Tharoor’s return

With regard to Mr. Tharoor, the return to the council was only a matter of time, considering his popularity in the Congress power centre in Delhi. And he has no reason to feel unhappy since he finds himself in the Human Resource Development Ministry as its Minister of State, taking over from E. Ahamed of the IUML, who held additional charge of the portfolio.

The changes in the portfolio of Union Minister of State K.C. Venugopal from Power to Civil Aviation is also significant, coming as it does in the context of the travel travails of Gulf passengers. While a Keralite incumbent in Civil Aviation may sooth the frayed tempers of Gulf expatriate from Kerala in the hope of getting better treatment from Air India, it would prove to be a big challenge for Mr. Venugopal.

Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi has had to shed some of the additional charges he held such as Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises and Science and Technology. Even though Kerala has got an all-time highest representation, some of the key portfolios such as Commerce, Industry, and Railways, which have direct bearing on the State’s development programmes, have proved to be elusive once again.

Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Ramesh Chennithala said that the presence of eight Ministers in the Union government was a biggest recognition given to the party’s Kerala unit.

In a statement here, Mr. Chennithala said the Dalit representation that Kerala would get on inclusion of Mr. Suresh was an additional feather for the KPCC, which had launched a massive programme to bring the Scheduled Caste community to the mainstream of State politics.

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