Chandy to be sworn in as CM on May 18
Senior Congress leader Oommen Chandy will be sworn in as the next Kerala chief minister on May 18 to head the UDF ministry.india Updated: May 15, 2011 22:11 IST
Senior Congress leader Oommen Chandy will be sworn in as the next Kerala chief minister on May 18 to head the UDF ministry.
67-year-old Chandy called on Governor R S Gavai this evening and staked claim to form the next government after getting elected as Congress Legislature Party Leader and UDF partners formally endorsing the choice. Chandy will head the 21st ministry in the state, where the UDF combine wrested power from the LDF, securing a wafer-thin majority of 72 seats in the 140-member Assembly. UDF convener P P Thankachan announced at a press meet that Chandy will take oath on May 18 at a simple ceremony to be held at the Raj Bhavan here.
Talks among the Front partners are progressing to decide on the composition of ministry and sharing of portfolios among the partners, he said. He, however, did not say whether all the ministers would be sworn in on May 18 itself. Chandy is becoming Chief Minister of Kerala for the second time after a two-year stint from 2004-06. He was appointed CM after A K Antony demitted office following the Congress's rout in the state in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections.
Ending uncertainties, Chandy emerged as the sole contender for the top post after KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala opted out of the race. After a meeting of the 38-member CLP, presided over by AICC observers Moshina Kidwai and Madhusudan Mistry, Chennithala announced that Chandy would lead the ministry. "The choice was unanimous and has been endorsed by Congress President Sonia Gandhi," he said. Emerging from the CLP meet, Chandy said the UDF's slender majority would not come in the way of the Front offering a stable and pro-people administration as the coalition would take it up as their prime task.
Apart from the Congress, other major components of the UDF are Indian Union Muslim League and the Kerala Congress(M). Socialist Janata (Democratic), which has two MLAs, and single-member parties KC (B), KC(J) and RSP (B) will also be accommodated. Chandy, who won for the 10th time in a row from his pocket borough Puthupally, enjoys the confidence of front partners, crucial in running the government with a majority of just two seats above the half-way mark of 70 in the 140-member House.