KC(M) joins new Kerala cabinet without a minister from Kottayam

Kerala Congress(M) chairman Jose K. Mani   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Confirming the inclusion of senior Kerala Congress (M) legislator Roshy Augustine in the State cabinet, party chairman Jose K. Mani on Tuesday formally nominated the Idukki legislator to the lone ministerial post allotted to the regional party by the Left Democratic Front government (LDF).

In a letter, handed over to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and LDF Convener A.Vijayaraghavan, Mr. Mani also nominated the Kanjirappally legislator N. Jayaraj as the Chief Whip. The other day, KC(M) had appointed Mr. Augustine and Mr. Jayaraj respectively as the leader and deputy leader of its five-member parliamentary party committee.

Leadership equations

The nomination of Mr. Augustine, a five-time legislator, is expected to have an impact on the leadership equations of the KC(M), which always ensured a ministerial post to Kottayam while being part of the State government.

Though Mr.Mani, who had lost from Pala, had tried till the last minute to ensure a ministerial berth to Mr. Jayaraj as well, his plans came a cropper as the CPI(M), as the lead partner of the LDF government, stuck to its offer of one ministerial seat along with the post of the Chief Whip.

While the party founder the late K.M. Mani, along with other legislators from Kottayam such as K. Narayana Kurup and C. F Thomas had been ministers in various United Democratic Front (UDF) governments, Mr. Mani also became a minister under E.K. Nayanar when the regional party sided with the LDF for a brief period in 1980.

After the 1982 elections, K.M. Mani and R. Balakrishna Pillai represented the KC(M) in the UDF cabinet, while in 1991, it was T.M. Jacob who got a nomination to the State cabinet along with Mr. Mani. In 2001, C.F. Thomas became a minister along with Mr. Mani, while in 2011, the party shared its ministerial posts between P.J. Joseph and Mr. Mani.

Power centre

While Mr. Augustine, originally a native of Ramapuram in Kottayam, is representing a seat in Idukki district, speculation is now rife about his emergence as another power centre within the party.

“The history of the Kerala Congress, which witnessed many a splits and mergers since its formation in 1964, suggests the emergence of another leader from outside Pala as a power centre, always led to fragmentation'', pointed out a veteran KC leader.

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Printable version | Jun 17, 2021 10:10:02 PM |

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