Fiftyfour-year-old V. Surendran Pillai, the lone legislator of the Kerala Congress led by P.C. Thomas, will be inducted into the Kerala cabinet, the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) decided at a meeting Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday.
In the past, Pillai on two occasions missed the minister's post by a whisker. But he has been third time lucky.
Pillai originally belonged to the Kerala Congress (Joseph) which was an ally of the LDF. But party chairman and Public Works Department Minister P.J. Joseph resigned as minister in April and barring Pillai, the other three party legislators joined the Kerala Congress (Mani) -- an ally in the Congress-led opposition United Democratic Front.
The first occasion when he missed a minister's post was when Joseph had to resign from the cabinet following a scandal of misbehaving with a lady on board an aircraft in 2006. At that time, the vacant cabinet spot went to T.U. Kuruvilla.
A year later, Kuruvilla had to step down following a land scandal. For the second time, Pillai came close to bagging a cabinet berth. But the post ultimately went to Mons Joseph.
Addressing reporters after the LDF meeting on Tuesday, Thomas expressed happiness over the decision of the LDF to induct Pillai into the cabinet.
"We have always toed the line of the LDF and we were sure that the LDF will take the correct decision. We are indeed thankful to the other allies of the LDF," said Thomas, who is now the chairman of the party.
Pillai said he will do his best for the people of the state by becoming an effective minister.
"For the last two decades I have been a part of the LDF... the Kerala Congress (Joseph), which I originally belonged to, decided to part ways with the LDF for no reason but I stood my ground," said Pillai.
And now what remains to be seen is the portfolio for Pillai. Party source said Communist Party of India-Marxist, a major force in the LDF, will decide the portfolio to be given to him.
It is unlikely that Pillai will be given the PWD portfolio which was handled by Joseph and his successors.
With regards to the date of swearing in, with the auspicious month of Chingam set to commence Aug 17, Pillai is likely to wait till then.
Pillai first became a legislator in 1984 when he won in a by-election. This is his second innings in the assembly.