Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy’s move for a Cabinet reshuffle has wittingly or unwittingly triggered off a new round of factionalism in the Congress at a time when its national leaders are yet to recover from the huge setback the party received in the Lok Sabha polls.

Mr. Chandy launched his Cabinet reshuffle efforts in the name of accommodating in his team the Kerala Congress (B), a minor constituent of the United Democratic Front (UDF), besides giving him an opportunity to redo the portfolios of certain Congress Ministers. The move would have also involved dropping a Congress nominee. His recent visit to the New Delhi was purportedly to get the High Command’s sanction for the reshuffle.

This was followed by Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala’s visit recently. Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president V.M. Sudheeran left for New Delhi on Sunday.

Mr. Chandy, according to sources close to him, wants to keep his commitment made to R. Balakrishna Pillai in the presence of other UDF leaders that his party would be given a slot by re-inducting Ganesh Kumar who had to quit as Minister in the Chandy Cabinet.

The re-induction of Mr. Ganesh Kumar is generally opposed by all Congress leaders. There is also lack of clarity on the Chief Minister’s move for a reshuffle at this juncture when the UDF had done fairly well in the Lok Sabha elections on the strength of the positive vibes of the government.

  • Opposition to dropping a Cong. nominee

  • KPCC president leaves for Delhi