Thiruvananthapuram: The back-to-back exit of two Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLAs from the Pinarayi government in Kerala has opened the chances for other parties to make it to the Left Front.
With both MLAs – AK Saseendran and Thomas Chandy - unlikely to get any ministerial post, there is a strong demand within the NCP to take a decision not to lose its representation in the Pinarayi cabinet.
Though there are no differences on this count, the party is split when it comes to deciding on a candidate. While one group is supporting Kerala Congress (B) leader K B Ganesh Kumar, others root for RSP (Leninist)'s Kovoor Kunjumon.
The NCP knows that both Thomas Chandy and AK Saseendran are unlikely to get off the hook in the cases against them any time soon. When Thomas Chandy resigned, the chief minister took over the transport ministry and if Pinarayi decides to hand over the department to someone else, the NCP will lose its ministerial post.
Instead, the party believes that it should get an MLA from outside and make him the minister, a move that will boost the chances of Ganesh Kumar and Kunjumon.
While NCP state president TP Peethambaran is backing Ganesh Kumar, the Thomas Chandy faction is strongly behind Kunjumon. The Chandy group is trying to win over Saseendran too.
If R Balakrishna Pillai and Ganesh Kumar are inducted, the Chandy faction is afraid that the NCP would come under the stranglehold of the father-son duo.
Since Kunjumon is unlikely to pose such a threat, they are planning get the support of the central party leadership for the RSP leader.
Though Peethambaran tried to bring Ganesh Kumar into the party and get him a ministerial post a few weeks ago, the plan came unstuck since it was done without getting the support of the party.
Though rival factions of Thomas Chandy and Saseendarn joined hands to protest against the move, Peethambaran has not given up on his plan. Most leaders within the party believe that Peethambaran was acting at the behest of the CPM, especially since top CPM leaders had held a meeting with Peethambaran.
The CPM wants to give Ganesh Kumar another chance since he had handled the transport ministry previously. However, it might work against the LDF's policy of giving ministerial representation only to alliance partners. If the policy is broken for Ganesh Kumar, others like Kovoor Kunjumon, K Vijayan Pilla and PTA Rahim will cry foul. Hence, the move by Ganesh Kumar to join LDF alliance partner NCP to get a ministerial post.