Thiruvananthapuram: Congress-led United Democratic Front in Kerala on Thursday failed to reach a consensus on the induction of KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala into the Oommen Chandy ministry in the rank of Deputy Chief Minister.
A crucial meeting of UDF leaders held here discussed the pros and cons of creating the post of Deputy CM but could not arrive at any conclusion.
"The meeting discussed the issue of Deputy CM in general but did not take up the specific question of Chennithala joining the cabinet with the rank," Front Convener PP Thankachan told reporters after the meeting.
Thankachan, a Congress leader, said Chandy briefed the meeting that a decision on Deputy CM post had not been taken by Congress unilaterally. He informed the Front leaders the discussion he had with Chennithala on the issue the other day about his joining the ministry.
Chandy also told the meeting that reports of an understanding being reached within Congress on induction of Chennithala as Deputy CM were mere media creation and the front partners would be consulted before taking a decision on the issue. Also, the concurrence of the Congress high command was required for creating the Deputy CM post.
Meanwhile IUML, the second largest partner in the Front, which come out strongly against the Congress taking a unilateral stance on the issue, on Thursday said IUML would also stake claim if Deputy CM post was created.
After a meeting of IUML leaders here, senior leader ET Muhammed Basheer told reporters his party wanted a discussion among the Front partners on the issue.
"IUML would stake claim for the post as and when the issue come up before the UDF", he said, adding that the issue of Chennithala becoming Deputy CM did not figure in Thursday's UDF meet.
Significantly, the last time the state had Deputy CM post was in early 1980s when the slot was occupied by IUML leaders late CH Muhammad Koya and Avukkadarkutty Naha in UDF ministry.