New Delhi: Oommen Chandy has been elected as the Congress Legislative Party leader in Kerala, after the Congress-led UDF on Friday unseated the CPI(M)-led LDF, winning 72 seats. Chandy will be the new Chief Minister of Kerala as Kerala Congress president Ramesh Chennithala opted out of the race on Sunday saying he would like to concentrate on the party instead.
Chandy said that the wafer thin majority will not create any problem for the UDF. "The Congress in Kerala is capable of providing a good administration for the next five years," he said.
Oommen Chandy will be sworn in as Kerala's Chief Minister on Wednesday, May 18 2011.
"All the decisions on the government formation will by the UDF members," he said.
The Congress-led UDF on Friday unseated the CPI(M)-led LDF, winning 72 seats in the 140-member assembly, the thinnest majority margin in the last four decades.
KPCC President Ramesh Chennithala said, "I am not in the Chief Minister's race, Oommen Chandy will be elected as congress legislative party leader. I will continue as congress president in Kerala.
Chandy is the longest serving Congress legislator from Kerala who is all set to rule for a second time. Oommen Chandy has been elected to the Kerala legislature from Puthupally in Kottayam district uninterrupted since his first election victory in 1970. He was preferred by the central leadership because of his previous experience and also because the UDF enjoys a wafer-thin majority.
The ghost of the palmolein case is not haunting him anymore with the vigilance giving a clean chit. But with a slender margin, and Achuthanandan as the probable Opposition leader, it's not going to be an easy ride this time for Oomen Chandy.