Finance Minister K.M. Mani has said that the post of Deputy Chief Minister is unnecessary for the Kerala Cabinet.
He was addressing a meet-the-press at the Thrissur Press Club on Monday.
‘‘I feel the post is not required. Why another burden?’’ he asked.
Asked whether Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Ramesh Chennithala was ideal for the post, Mr. Mani said, ‘‘Mr. Chennithala is ideal for any post.’’
In reply to a question, the Minister said Industries Minister P.K. Kunhalikutty too was ideal for the post.
‘‘For that matter, many members of the Cabinet are ideal candidates. The UDF [United Democratic Front] has not discussed so far the issue of Deputy Chief Minister,’’ he added.
Asked whether Mr. Chennithala was being considered for Ministership to shed the UDF’s alleged anti-majority image created by issues such as the fifth Cabinet berth for the Indian Union Muslim League, Mr. Mani said, ‘‘If at all Mr. Chennithala is being considered, it is not because he is a Hindu. Oommen Chandy is Chief Minister not because he is a Christian. But because he is an effective leader.’’
Replying to a question, he said there was nothing improper in K.B. Ganesh Kumar being re-inducted into the Cabinet.
‘‘He was not thrown out of the Cabinet. He resigned on his own accord. If he wants to be Minister again, he may convey his desire to the Chief Minister, who in turn will discuss the matter in UDF fora,’’ Mr. Mani stated.
He said that some of the recommendations of the reports of the Madhav Gadgil and K. Kasturirangan committees were anti-farmer. ‘‘The Kerala Congress wants the Centre not to consider these recommendations,’’ he said.