No consensus on deputy CM post in Kerala

After struggling to reach a consensus on the induction of Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Ramesh Chennithala into the Cabinet, the party is back in the negotiation mode.

With Chief Minister Oommen Chandy maintaining a cautious silence on what transpired in his crucial talks with Congress president Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi on Monday, the onus is back on the state leaders to bring the party out of the deadlock.

After apprising Sonia Gandhi and senior leaders of the situation, Chandy told reporters that there was “one vacancy” in the government that had to be filled and talks in this connection would shift back to Kerala. Even as the chief minister dismissed the view that the deputy chief minister’s post was created to accommodate Chennithala by terming it a media speculation, leaders of the ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) continued to make statements that suggest a discord—and a lack of clarity—on the issue.

State Industries Minister and senior Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leader P K Kunhalikutty, on Monday, clarified that his party never “demanded” a deputy chief minister’s post in the government. The minister told reporters that the IUML had only stated that it had a claim to the post if it was created. 

Kunhalikutty, however, reiterated that the IUML held the number two position within the ruling alliance. He has also joined leaders to opine that the recent shadow-boxing within the party ranks has hit the government’s credentials

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