The Kerala Cabinet is likely to be reshuffled to facilitate the entry of Congress state president Ramesh Chennithala. Chennithalas almost-certain induction into the Cabinet is an attempt to appease the upper class Hindu Nair outfit Nair Service Society which has often lamented that the government is run by a combine of Christian-Muslim ministers.
NSS general secretary K Sukumaran Nair had threatened that the Nairs would give a fitting reply to the Congress in the next Lok Sabha elections if Chennithala was not brought to a key position in the government. If Chennithala is made a minister,speaker G Karthikeyan,a Hindu Nair,is tipped to be the party state chief. Congress sources said Defence Minister A K Antony would have a final word on the matter. Antony,who is expected to reach the state capital on Saturday,would hold discussions with all stakeholders in the party on Chennithalas Cabinet entry.
Chennithala,who had earlier taken the stand that he would remain at the leadership of the party,has changed his view now. It is up to the party high command whether I should join the Cabinet, he said. The leader of the I group in the party completed a month-long Kerala yatra on Thursday. Sources said the yatra was taken as a bid to impress his performance as party state chief,a post he has been holding for the last eight years. In Assembly elections in 2011,Chennithalas candidature had been seen as a threat to rival Oommen Chandy,but the latter recoiled from the race to the post of the chief minister at the intervention of Antony.
Going by indications,Chennithala is likely to get Home portfolio,which is now held by Chandys nominee Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan,source said.