Thiruvananthapuram: With the UDF securing a
mandate to rule Kerala, the newly elected Congress MLAs will
meet here tomorrow to decide the next chief minister.
Central party functionaries Mohsina Kidwai and Madhusudan
Mistry would attend the meet as observers to elect the leader
through a consensus, party sources said.
Former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who led the UDF as
the Opposition in the state assembly in the last five years,
is the front-runner for the top post.
Indications from the Congress camp are that the new Chief
Minister would take oath by Monday.
Since it is important for the coalition to strike an image
of intra-party unity and cohesion, considering the thin
majority it secured, it would be unwise for the coalition to
delay the swearing in, Congress sources said.
The Chief Minister and leaders of the alliance parties
would be sworn in initially and the cabinet would be expanded
later after detailed discussions among the front partners.
Meanwhile, as a prelude to the ministry-formation process,
the UDF components began internal discussions.
Congress leaders met in Kochi and took stock of the
outcome which did not match their expectations.
In an important development, IUML leader P K Kunhalikutty
and Kerala Congress leader K M Mani held a round of
discussions. Both leaders later said they did not discuss the
issue of cabinet berth or portfolio expected by them.