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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

KERALA POLITICS: Oommen Chandy has bettered his clout in Congress!

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Prabhat Nair, Express News Service / Last Updated : 10 Aug 2011 07:59:31 AM IST.

KOCHI:  The acceptance of Oommen Chandy as the face of the government and the United Democratic Front’s face-saving mechanism of not sending negative signals to the people have induced the leaders of the UDF to rally behind Chief Minister Ommen Chandy.

Chandy has been well-received as the face of the government both within the party and the UDF.

With Chandy enjoying the support of the high command, the state leadership has found it hard to call for an immediate change of leadership in the wake of the Palmolein case.

Moreover, after becoming the Chief Minister, Chandy has improved his clout in the Congress, which no other top leader enjoys.

He has also become the final word in the state Congress party.

Chandy’s seniority, administrative experience and skills to manage the coalition have given him an edge over other leaders in running the government. Obviously, these skills have made Chandy the unanimous choice of the Congress as well as the UDF.

Chandy also enjoys the support of the All-India Congress Committee president Sonia Gandhi and Defence Minister A K Antony. It has been learned that Antony had asked Chandy not to resign and to first think about the party and the UDF.

Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Ramesh Chennithala, who had been in the forefront for the Chief Minister’s post during the election campaign, had made it clear that there was no need for Chandy to quit as he had not been charged with any offence.

He had said on Monday that no evidence was found against Chandy and the order for re-probe had been issued without any evidence. The UDF constituents, including the Indian Union Muslim League and the Kerala Congress (M), have also been left with no choice but to support Chandy as they think he is the only person who could lead the coalition government to its full term. They do not want to create ripples in the coalition or in the government by just

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