Chandy to be sworn in Kerala CM along with six ministers

Congress leader Oommen Chandy will be sworn in as CM of Kerala on Wednesday along with six others from constituents of UDF which ousted the LDF and returned to power with a wafer-thin majority in assembly polls.

Updated: May 17, 2011, 23:33 PM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: Congress leader Oommen
Chandy will be sworn in as Chief Minister of Kerala on Wednesday
along with six others from constituents of UDF which ousted
the LDF and returned to power with a wafer-thin majority in
assembly polls.

The new ministry would be expanded on May 23 with the
induction of 13 more -- nine from lead partner Congress, three
from IUML and one from Kerala Congress (M), UDF Convener PP
Thankachan told reporters here this evening.

Apart from 67-year old Chandy, others to be sworn in by
Governor RS Gavai at Raj Bhavan are PK Kunhalikutty (Indian
Union Muslim League), K M Mani (Kerala Congress-M), KP
Mohanan (SJD), TM Jacob (Kerala Congress-J), KB Ganesh
Kumar (Kerala Congress-B) and Shibu Baby John (RSP-B).

Chandy is becoming Chief Minister for the second time after
a stint from 2004-06 following the resignation of AK Antony
owning moral responsibility for the rout of Congress in Kerala
in 2004 Lok Sabha polls.

Chandy, elected for the 10th consecutive time from his
pocket borough Puthupally in Kottayam District, was on Sunday
elected leader of Congress Legislature Party.

The portfolios of ministers would be announced by Chandy
after the cabinet meeting tomorrow, Thankachan said.

Parleys are still on to decide on the Assembly Speaker
and the Deputy Speaker.

UDF sources said the key Home portfolio would be held by
Congress. There is a strong demand that the party should also
get the Education portfolio which had been held by IUML
nominees in the previous UDF ministries.

Kerala Congress (M) leader KM Mani is likely to get
Finance, Law and Housing and the party nominee and former
minister PJ Joseph Water Resources.

SJD`s Mohanan is tipped to be Agriculture minister, TM
Jacob Transport and Shibu Baby John may get Labour. Ganesh
Kumar had sought Health or Culture but a final decision was
yet to be taken.

The second largest partner IUML is expected to get
Industry, Public Works and Social welfare.

The names of nine Congress ministers to be included in the
cabinet would be decided in consultation with the central
leadership maintaining regional, religious and caste balance.

UDF, which won 72 seats to gain a slender margin of four
seats in the 140-member House, reached an agreement on
ministerial berths and portfolios with its partners.

PTI