`Chandy had refused Karunakaran`s help to occupy CM`s post`
New Delhi: Oommen Chandy, who may become
Kerala chief minister if Congress-led UDF wins the April 13
Assembly polls, had refused to seek the help of late K
Karunakaran for occupying the post as he did not want "any
strings" to be attached.
57-year-old Chandy, who was the front-runner to
succeed A K Antony as chief minister of Kerala after he quit
in August 2004 owning moral responsibility for the party`s
debacle in the Lok Sabha elections held in May that year,
placed three conditions to the party as he wanted to work
without fearing "anyone".
According to a new book `A Gracious Voice: Life of
Oommen Chandy`, "the first condition placed by Chandy was that
his political mentor Antony should not be removed from the
Chief Minister`s chair". The book authored by P T Chacko and C
C Thomas has been published by Konark Publishing Pvt Ltd.
"Two, he would not wear the CM`s topi (cap) as part of
a package or on the basis of any compromise. Third and last,
if the Party High Command had anybody else in mind, he would
not don the CM`s robe," the book says.
Antony, who had been expressing his intention to step
down since the election results were out, met Congress chief
Sonia Gandhi on August 29, 2004 when she had come to Kollam
and expressed his desire to quit as Chief Minister.
"Within 10 minutes of her departure for Delhi, he
(Antony) made the dramatic declaration of his resignation,"
the book, for which former Union Minister of State Shahsi
Tharoor has written a foreword, says.
Before Gandhi left for Delhi, Chandy met the Congress
chief at the instance of her political secretary Ahmed Patel.
After this, some of his aides, the book says, asked
Chandy to ask K Karunakaran and Vakkom Purushothamana for help
after Antony`s resignation.
"He did not do so because he did not want any strings
attached to the CM`s office if and when it was offered to him.
He wished to work without fearing anyone and the shadow of
anyone`s favour clouding his work," the book says.
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