Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala Congress (Joseph) has sought more time to propose a new person to be the party’s Minister in the Left Democratic Front (LDF) Cabinet.

The party has also urged Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan to reinstate KC(J) chairman P.J. Joseph as Minister if he is cleared of the charge of misbehaviour towards a female co-passenger while flying from Chennai to Kochi over a year ago. The KC(J) has offered to propose a new name if Mr. Joseph is not cleared of the charge.

The KC(J) demands were contained in a letter handed over to the Chief Minister by party MP Francis George here on Thursday evening. The Chief Minister merely offered to consider the demand and also pointed out that he could not take a decision on his own in the matter.

Top leaders of the KC(J) had met here on Wednesday evening to take stock of the situation consequent on the Chief Minister’s statement that the government would go ahead with the decision to hold a judicial inquiry into the charge against Mr. Joseph even if he was cleared by the Chennai police and the court there. The Chennai police is expected to submit its inquiry report in the coming few days and the KC(J) leadership is hopeful that Mr. Joseph would be cleared of the charge. Although the KC(J) leader did try to meet Mr. Achuthanandan on Wednesday itself, they could not do so as he had to leave for Kodungalloor to attend M.N. Vijayan’s funeral.

The Chief Minister’s sudden announcement that a judicial inquiry would be held into the charge against Mr. Joseph has made things quite difficult for the KC(J).