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Kerala political crisis finds no solution in Delhi

Chennithala and Chandy reached Delhi over the weekend to try and iron out a solution

Gulf News

Thiruvananthapuram: The internal crisis in Kerala’s ruling Congress party, fuelled by the solar power scam, has run into a virtual dead end in Delhi, with Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Ramesh Chennithala shooting down suggestions that he join the state cabinet.

It was believed that Chennithala’s cabinet entry would help solve internal bickering in the party and improve the party’s image.

Both Chennithala and chief minister Oommen Chandy reached Delhi over the weekend to try and iron out a solution gripping the ruling party’s state unit in the wake of the solar scam, but no solution seems at hand, and reports indicate that the two leaders may get back home, with the party’s internal problems remaining unresolved.

Political observers here say that Chennithala and the “I” group in the party that backs him, decided against a cabinet entry for the KPCC president on the reading that now is not a suitable time for him to join the cabinet, given the badly-sullied image of the UDF government.

Some leaders in the “I” faction feel that Chennithala may be left to defend the allegations that are now being made against the Chandy government if he joins the cabinet.

The situation is also seen as a sweet revenge for Chennithala, who was denied a cabinet berth of his liking when he had completed his north-south yatra of the state two months ago. Now, with the solar scam having tainted the government, Chennithala is not keen to join the cabinet.

Reports indicate that federal defence minister and former Kerala chief minister AK Antony has also declined from intervening to find a solution for the stand-off between the “I” faction, and the “A” group that backs the chief minister.

The government’s position is worsened by the fact that two other senior leaders of coalition parties may seek their pound of flesh.

Kerala Congress (M) chief and finance minister KM Mani would like to have a ministerial position in the federal government for his son and MP, Jose K Mani, while Kerala Congress (B) leader R Balakrishna Pillai has already staked claims for a berth in the state cabinet for his son and former forest minister KB Ganesh Kumar.

Amidst the political turbulence, the state government had some relief, when it was reported that there were no names of top leaders in a written statement that Saritha S Nair, one of the key accused in the solar scam, submitted to the chief judicial magistrate court.