Ommen Chandy ministry to assume office Wednesday
Thiruvananthapuram: Senior Congress leader
Ommen Chandy will be sworn in Kerala Chief Minister on Wednesday
bringing back the UDF rule by a wafer thin majority.
Along with Chandy, P K Kunhalikutty (IUML), K M Mani
(KC-M), K P Mohan (SJD), T M Jacob (KC-J), K B Ganesh Kumar
(KC-B) and Shibu Baby John (RSP-B), partners of the United
Democratic Front, will also be sworn in at 2 pm.
They will be administered oath of office and secrecy by
Governor R S Gavai at a ceremony to be held at the Raj
Bhavan lawns, UDF sources said.
The Ministry will be expanded later after finalising the
list of Congress members to be included in consultation with
the party's central leadership.
UDF captured power in the state pipping the Left Democratic
Front by a margin of 72-68 in the 140-member Assembly in a
photo-finish in the April 13 elections.
Chandy, who was on Sunday elected leader of the Congress
Legislature Party, said the front partners have already
reached a broad agreement on the number of berths to be shared
through discussions in the last two days.
According to the consensus, the second largest UDF
component IUML would get four cabinet berths and Kerala
Congress (M) two, though the latter continues to press for
three. Other partners get one portfolio each.
Apart from the Chief Minister, Congress is trying to
ensure ten ministerial berths for itself so as to satisfy its
diverse support base by maintaining proper regional, caste and
Chandy and KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala would be
leaving for Delhi on Thursday to finalise the party's list.
As the lead partner, Congress has made it clear that it
would keep the Assembly Speaker's post, which is crucial since
the coalition commands only a slender majority in the House.
However, the post of Deputy Speaker would be left to
either IUML or the Kerala Congress (M).