Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 15 (Fresh Headline) Amid news of an impending cabinet reshuffle in Kerala, trouble has broken out in the Nationalist Congress Party, with its legislator Thomas K. Thomas demanding the portfolio of State Forest Minister by replacing his party colleague A.K. Saseendran.
NCP in Kerala has two legislators and includes Saseendran and first time legislator Thomas.
The proposed reshuffle seems to be on the cards as according to the ruling Left Democratic Front convenor E.P.Jayarajan, there was an agreement in 2021 when the second Pinarayi Vijayan government assumed office that
four allies of the front who has just one legislator will get a term of two-and-a-half years each.
Thomas, on Friday, told the media that his party leadership consisting of national president Sharad Pawar and others had come to an understanding that Saseendran and he will share the Ministership for the agreed term.
“Hence, when the reshuffle takes place in November according to the 2021 agreement, Saseendran has to move out for me,” asserted Thomas.
Incidentally, the state unit of the NCP is divided between Saseendran and state party president P.C.Chacko ( who left the Congress party in 2019 )on one side and Thomas on the other.
Recently, Thomas was warned against airing party issues in public domain by Pawar, who asked him to bring them up only in the party forums.
Thomas, who won from the Kuttanad Assembly constituency in Alappuzha, is the brother of businessman-turned former legislator who was a State Minister- Thomas Chandy who won thrice but passed away while being a
legislator in 2019.
The state NCP decided to give the Chandy’s seat to Thomas at the 2021 Assembly elections which he won comfortably.
Things have not been smooth for Thomas as many in the NCP feel he should not have been given the seat and ever since his victory and with the arrival of Chacko, he has been feeling the heat.
And now it remains to be seen if Thomas gets the party’ nod to replace Saseendran.
Reacting to the development, Saseendran said anyone can express their desire to be a Minister, but it has to be done at an appropriate place.
In a related development, Kovoor Kunjumon, a five-time legislator belonging to the Revolutionary Socialist Party (Leninist) has approached the LDF and Vijayan with a request to make him a Minister.
Kunjumon’s party though is not an ally of the LDF, he has always been with the alliance.