Kerala jubilant with six MPs in council of ministers

May 27th, 2009 - 5:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Thiruvananthapuram, May 27 (IANS) With as many as six Kerala MPs set to be part of the council of ministers in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government, the state had reason to be happy Wednesday.
Three Congress MPs got the call for the swearing in Thursday. These were Mullapally Ramachandran, K.V. Thomas and Shashi Tharoor. E. Ahamed of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) will also be a minister.

A.K. Antony and Vayalar Ravi, both of the Congress, were made cabinet ministers last week. This takes the Congress tally of ministers from Kerala to five.

State Congress president Ramesh Chennithala told reporters this is the first time Kerala will have six people in the council of ministers.

“In 1991, we had four and now six. This is because the Congress national leadership and prime minister consider Kerala dear to them. Now it is for the Left government here to make use of these six ministers and they should keep aside all politics and work for the development of the state,” said Chennithala.

Ramachandran is currently vice president of the state Congress party. He was a minister of state in the P.V. Narashima Rao cabinet in 1991 and this is the sixth time he has won to the Lok Sabha.

Thomas, known to be a Sonia Gandhi loyalist, is another who will be sworn in. A sitting legislator in the assembly, he surprised everyone by becoming a Congress candidate in the general elections and, after his victory, it was a foregone conclusion that he would become a minister.

The victory of Shashi Tharoor, a former UN under secretary general, from the Thiruvananthapuram constituency by a margin of close to 100,000 votes surprised many. During the campaign, many Congress activists sought votes for him saying he would be a minister if he won.

Ahamed was already a minister of state in the previous UPA government, and his being part of the council of ministers was expected.

United Democratic Front (UDF) convenor P.P. Thankachen said those who have been selected to become ministers are all highly experienced.

“This is great news for Kerala and is certainly going to bring huge gains to the state. With Thomas becoming a minister, it means all development activities in Ernakulam (Kochi) will be speeded up,” said Thankachen.

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