TAMIL NADU

Anil Kumar back in Cabinet

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, MARCH 24. The Minister for Cultural Affairs and Welfare of Scheduled Castes, Tribes and Backward Classes, A. P. Anil Kumar, today said he did not propose to press the Chief Minister, Oommen Chandy, to accept his resignation from the State Cabinet. Mr. Chandy also reiterated that he did not intend to accept the resignation of the young Minister as he felt the situation did not warrant it. Mr. Anil Kumar would be back in office after the Easter Holidays.

Regret

The Minister, however, regretted that he was unable to keep date with his resolve not to withdraw his resignation while putting in his papers. He had resigned on Tuesday expressing disgust over the factional fight besides emphasising the need for sacrifices by all sections to resolve problems in the party, especially when the high command was making an effort to sort out issues.

The Chief Minister had made it clear at that time itself that he had rejected the resignation, while Mr. Anil Kumar stood his ground. Senior leaders, including A. K. Antony, advised him not to press for his resignation. The liaison work by a long list of leaders, including the Power Minister, Aryadan Mohammed, the Congress MLA and close friend, T. N. Pratapan, and the Water Resources Minister, Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishan, culminated in defusing the crisis. It hardly took three minutes to settle the matter.

Chandy's faith

Addressing mediapersons after the meeting, Mr. Chandy said he had full confidence in Mr. Anil Kumar who made valid contributions in the short period he has been a Minister. Mr. Anil Kumar, while talking to mediapersons later, confirmed the Chief Minister's statement expressing full confidence in him and wanting him to continue.

He maintained that the reasons he had cited for his resignation was fully correct even though he went through considerable mental stress since then.

Antony's advice

He had twice met Mr. Antony before submitting his resignation and this afternoon. Mr. Antony had held the view that he did not favour Mr. Anil Kumar resigning from his post. Asked whether he continued to hold the view that the Chief Minister should take the initiative to carry along party workers and leaders irrespective of their divergent perceptions, the Minister said he earnestly believed that senior party leaders like Mr. Antony, K. Karunakaran and Mr. Chandy were free to express their opinions and take the initiative to settle party problems.

Mr. Anil Kumar, however, kept his cool without being overwhelmed by the impact his resignation created. He did not forget to personally call on Mr. Karunakaran after tendering his resignation and explain to him his resolve to stick to his position. Significantly, none of the Karunakaran faction MLAs put pressure on him not to withdraw his resignation.

Recommended for you