Thiruvananthapuram: With two cabinet ministers quitting in the wake of scandals, there
is likelihood that Kerala, which currently has eight members in
the cabinet, could get a ninth one.
There is speculation that Jose K. Mani, first-time Lok Sabha
member from Kottayam, and also the son of Kerala Finance Minister
K.M. Mani, could win a berth as a minister of state.
The Kerala Congress-Mani, third-biggest ally in the state
government, could count the presence of its member in the union
cabinet a feather in its cap. Speaking to IANS, government chief
whip and vice chairman of the Kerala Congress-Mani P.C. George
said the party, which has two law makers in parliament, deserves a
"Our party certainly deserves it. We expect that Jose K. Mani will
get a call from the Prime Minister's Office," George said.
In all, there are 20 Lok Sabha members from Kerala; 16 of them are
from the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) which includes
two from the Indian Union Muslim League and one from the Kerala
In the upper house, of the nine members from the state, five are
from the UDF.
The eight union ministers from the state include cabinet ministers
A.K. Antony (Defence) and Vayalar Ravi (Ministry of Overseas
Indian Affairs) and Ministers of State K.V. Thomas (Ministry of
Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution), Mulapally
Ramachandran (Home), Sashi Tharoor (HRD), K.C. Venugopal (Civil
Aviation) Kodikunnil Suresh (Labour) and E. Ahamed (External
The present strength of eight ministers is the biggest ever
representation that Kerala has got; if that number rises even
more, it could come as a bonus for Mani and his family and also
his party, as they have been bargaining hard for it.
There is also speculation that the porfolios of union ministers
from the state could change, and that Ahamed, who comes from the
IUML, could get independent charge of a ministry.