“Today, I am very happy that the Congress president gave the consent to continue as PCC chief and not join the government,” Chennithala said. “I will work for the party in the ensuing Lok Sabha polls and I will try my level best to get more seats in the state,” he added.
The move has further widened the rift between Chandy and Chennithala who was keen to join the Congress-led UDF government only if he was given the deputy chief minister’s post or the home portfolio.
But Chandy didn’t agree, angering the rival camp which argued that Chennithala, India’s youngest cabinet minister, had led the party to power in 2011. While his contemporaries became union cabinet ministers and chief ministers, Chennithala stayed as an AICC secretary, and then as the PCC chief, his supporters said.