Party high command will sort out all issues: Chennithala

Thiruvananthapuram, June 10 (IANS) Speaking for the first time about the controversy over his induction into the Kerala cabinet, state Congress unit chief Ramesh Chennithala said Monday that the party high command would come up with a solution.

"I have not gone after any post and all these years my party has given me posts at the appropriate time. Today, the matter is before them, and at the appropriate time, they will come with a solution," Chennithala said while addressing media persons here Monday.

For close to three weeks, speculation has been rife in political circles that Chennithala, who has served as the state Congress unit chief for eight years, would be inducted into the state cabinet, either as deputy chief minister or as home minister.

The second-line leadership in the party has been riven by this development, taking divergent positions on whether or not Chennithala should find a place in Chief Minister Oommen Chandy's cabinet.

"There has been talk in the past weeks about my entry into the cabinet. I will never question the intention of friends in my party about it. Now the matter will be sorted out by the high command and they have asked all in the party not to open this topic for discussion," Chennithala said.

While Chandy's aides did not want Chennithala to be given the prized home portfolio, the second-biggest ally of the United Democratic Front (UDF), the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), did not want to give away the position of deputy chief minister to him. In the past, each time the UDF created the post, it was held by a member of the IUML.

Chennithala, given his seniority and the successful eight-year stint as state party chief, is unlikely to settle for anything but the post of deputy chief minister or home minister.

"I apologise to all my party men if this issue over my ministership has created a dent in the party's image. On this issue, I cannot blame the media," Chennithala said.

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