Kerala Congress elated as state gets two cabinet

May 22nd, 2009 - 10:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Thiruvananthapuram, May 22 (IANS) Congress workers in Kerala were elated as two senior leaders from the state were sworn in as ministers in the central cabinet Friday.
A.K. Antony and Vayalar Ravi, who were also members of the previous Manmohan Singh government, took oath of office.

“Even though both A.K. Antony and Vayalar Ravi were cabinet ministers (in the previous government), they were not sworn in together. This is a huge morale booster for the Congress party in Kerala and we all hope we will get some more (cabinet berths) in the days to come,” Kerala’s Leader of Opposition Oommen Chandy told IANS here.

Vayalar Ravi’s wife Mercy Ravi, who was not keeping well, got discharged from the hospital, reached her home at Kochi and watched on television her husband being sworn in.

“He is one person who can perform in any role and in any post. Last time when he was made the minister for overseas Indian affairs, many said it (the portfolio) was only a small one. Look how he managed it and now there is a big rush in Delhi for this post,” said Mercy Ravi, a former Congress legislator.

Congress supporters burst fire-crackers as the swearing-in ceremony in New Delhi got over.

Residents of Chertalai and Vayalar, the hometowns of Antony and Vayalar Ravi respectively and located three kilometres apart in Alappuzha district, witnessed more celebrations.

“We are excited because the two come from virtually the same place,” said a resident of Chertalai.

Ravi, 71, was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 1971 and now is a member of the Rajya Sabha, while 68-year-old Antony’s first stint in Delhi was in 1985 when he was elected to the Rajya Sabha of which he remains a member.

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