Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Ramesh Chennithala has been sworn in as Minister in the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) government.
At a brief ceremony at the Raj Bhavan here on Wednesday, Governor Nikhil Kumar administered the oath of office and secrecy to Mr. Chennithala. The KPCC president is all set to take over the reins of the Home Department from incumbent Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, bringing to an end a long-drawn out battle in the State unit of the Congress over his claim to a ‘key’ position in the Oommen Chandy Cabinet.
Mr. Chennithala has found his way into the Cabinet thanks to intervention by the Congress high command, which issued a virtual ultimatum to Mr. Chandy to accommodate Mr. Chennithala to bring about greater cohesion in the party and the alliance ahead of the impending Lok Sabha elections. Mr. Radhakrishnan is tipped to get Transport and Forest Departments.
Transport portfolio is currently being held by senior Congress leader Aryadan Mohammed and Forest portfolio is with the Chief Minister ever since Kerala Congress (B) nominee K. B. Ganesh Kumar quit the Cabinet a few months ago.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy is expected to announce the change in portfolios after the weekly Cabinet meeting, which is now on at the State secretariat.