Vacancy left by Kumar not to be filled immediately: Chandy

Vacancy left by Kumar not to be filled immediately: Chandy

The ruling UDF government in Kerala will not rush to pick a Congress nominee for replacing minister K B Ganesh Kumar, who resigned in the wake of the domestic violence charge slapped on him by his wife, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy today said.

"We are not going to discuss the matter immediately or rush to a decision on this," he said in reply to reporters' queries during his Cabinet briefing here.

Chandy's statement assumes significance as the exit of Kumar, the lone legislator of Kerala Congress (B), has fuelled speculation that a Congress nominee would soon be chosen to fill the berth left vacant by Kumar, who held important portfolios of Forest, Sports and Cinema.

The names that figured as possible candidates in this connection included that of K Muraleedharan, former KPCC chief and son of late Congress stalwart K Karunakaran, and a couple of other MLAs, mostly of the Nair community to which Kumar belonged.

Local media and political circles have been rife with speculation that Chandy might even go in for a major Cabinet reshuffle, keeping political and community equations in proper balance, setting an eye on the Lok Sabha polls due early next year.

Chandy rejected the charge of Opposition LDF that he had sought to shield Kumar by declining to act on his estranged wife Yamini's complaint, saying this was totally untrue.
"There is no conspiracy to which I have been part, as being alleged by the opposition," he said, adding that LDF is trying to make political mileage out of the domestic affair of Kumar.

"This approach went against moderation and propriety expected of a responsible political formation on matters like this. The Congress and UDF have always adopted a moderate approach whenever the rival side had to face situations like this," he said.

Earlier in the day, the Assembly witnessed noisy scenes with LDF disrupting the proceedings, demanding the resignation of Chandy over the Kumar issue.

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