Thiruvananthapuram, March 20 IANS | 7 months ago

The Kerala cabinet will sport a new look after the Lok Sabha polls, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said Thursday.

Chandy, who was talking with reporters about poll related developments here, also took potshots at the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), saying it has insulted its own cadre.

"I stand by what I said earlier. There will be changes in my cabinet once the elections are over. All such decisions will be taken in consultation with the party high command as I will not make such decisions on my own," Chandy said.

Kerala, which sends 20 members to the Lok Sabha, goes to polls April 10.

The chief minister hit out at the CPI-M over its decision to field five 'non-party' candidates for the polls.

"The explanation given by the CPI-M was they decided to field this many non-party candidates (Independents backed by political parties) because they were all winnable candidates.

"This clearly means that the large number of full time CPI-M workers stand no chance of winning. Is it not an insult to their cadre?" asked Chandy.

Asked about the Congress also picking "outsiders" for the elections, Chandy said: "Manmohan Singh never rose through the ranks as a student politician. We decided to field him because we knew that he had the stuff and the country needs his wide expertise."

Defending the Congress decision to accommodate Rajiv Gandhi, a non-member at that time, into the party following the death of his mother and prime minister Indira Gandhi, Chandy said: "Even though Rajiv was prime minister for only five years, no other country had made as much progress as India did in the telecom sector. We owe this to him."

The chief minister also lashed out at the "Gujarat model of development", saying it was only hype.

He said a latest news report shows Kerala at the first position, while Gujarat was ranked fourth.

Chandy said a report by the human resource development ministry showed Gujarat in 11th position, while Kerala was first on the development count.

Another 2013 report by Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan ranked Kerala as second while Gujarat was 12th.

He said Gujarat rolls out the red carpet for corporates while issues confronting the common man are left unattended.

Chandy said the Congress party's prospects looked promising.

"You just wait, a third UPA government will again assume office in the country. In Kerala also, we are going to do well," he said.

(Posted on 20-03-2014)

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