Putting an end to speculations over the appointment of a new minister in the Pinarayi-led cabinet of the Kerala government, NCP MLA Thomas Chandy has reportedly been given a ministerial berth.
The oath-taking ceremony will be held at 4pm on Saturday, former Transport Minister AK Saseendran told reporters.
The decision was taken in an LDF meeting held on Friday, after Uzhavoor Vijayan, NCP's state president met Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
The need to appoint a new minister in the cabinet came in the backdrop of Transport Minister AK Saseendran's resignation, after Mangalam TV aired an audio clip allegedly of the former minister. In the clip, the male voice, alleged to be that of the minister, was heard having a sexually explicit conversation with a woman.
NCP State President Uzhavoor Vijayan reportedly handed over a letter to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday, recommending Thomas Chandy's name for minister.
Elevating the Kuttanad MLA as a minister was an expected move, considering the NCP has only two MLAs in the Kerala Assembly.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Saseendran confirmed that MLA Thomas Chandy would succeed him.
"NCP proposed the name of Thomas Chandy and the CM has agreed to this decision. Oath taking will be held tomorrow. As Thomas Chandy's predecessor, I am personally happy that he is becoming the minister and I extend all my support to him. The party is also glad about it," the former minister said.
There was some speculation that AK Saseendran could be reinstated in the cabinet in the wake of Mangalam TV admitting that they had carried out a sting operation on Saseendran.
Reacting on Saseendran's resignation, Thomas Chandy had earlier told reporters that "there were other MLAs in the party who were eligible to be a minister," making no efforts to hide that he was talking about himself.