Kerala cabinet reshuffle talks remain inconclusive

The deadlock over the state Cabinet reshuffle has extended to another day of speculation with the third round of talks between Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Ramesh Chennithala ending inconclusively.

Late on Wednesday, a day that witnessed a series of meetings in the capital city, Chandy met Chennithala but all that he offered to tell the waiting reporters was – “I’ve apprised the KPCC president on the talks I had in Delhi (with the high command)”.

Wednesday’s developments have dealt another blow to Chennithala who has reportedly been looking at landing a Home portfolio after the creation of a deputy chief minister post – to accommodate him – was aborted following opposition from Congress’ allies in the ruling United Democratic Front (UDF). While the party’s ‘A’ faction is refusing to part with the Home portfolio, Chennithala is now left with the unlikely option of settling for a “less fancied” ministry.

A group of leaders within the ‘I’ faction who have been opposing Chennithala’s induction into the Cabinet take the inconclusive talks as a snub and want Chennithala to not accept an “unattractive” offer and instead, continue as the KPCC chief. The chief minister’s non-committal public stance on the imbroglio continued on Wednesday.

“There’s no conflict. We are on the same path”, Chandy told reporters during an earlier interaction.

Any further delay in a resolution – the state Assembly is set to commence its next session on June 10 – could lead Chennithala to go public with his stand.

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