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Oommen Chandy says relations with state Congress chief good

Posted on Jan 28, 07:53PM | IANS

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Monday said he shared the best of working relations with Ramesh Chennithala, amid demands from the Nair community that the state Congress chief be made a deputy chief minister.

"For the past eight years we have had the best of relations and we work as a well oiled machine. In the past, there have been instances when the Congress party and the Congress government in the state did not have the best of relations, but in our case...we both have perfect understanding in what we do," Chandy told reporters here after a cabinet meeting.

Chandy, however, preferred to keep mum when he was asked to comment on the ultimatum given by the Nair Service Society (NSS) Sunday for a cabinet reshuffle to maintain "communal balance".

The NSS, a social movement of the Hindu Nair community in the state, has been demanding that Chennithala, a Nair, should be made a deputy chief minister or be given the prized home portfolio.

"See, I do not wish to say anything on this aspect as I have already made my remark on it and I wish to keep out of controversies. Time will prove what my stand on Chennithala entering the cabinet was," said Chandy.

At a public meeting Sunday evening, NSS general secretary Sukumaran Nair said it will not hesitate to go to Delhi to meet Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and demand that Chandy be removed if he continues to ignore its genuine demands.

Union Minister of State for Home Mullappally Ramachandran said that social groups need not intervene in the internal matters of the Congress party.

Chennithala told reporters here that his only agenda now is to get his party ready for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. "I have nothing in my mind except gearing up for the next Lok Sabha elections and for that I have to work hard, making the party."

The NSS for a while has been up in arms as it has felt that the majority community Hindus in general and the Nairs in particular have been left out from plum cabinet and other crucial posts.

The NSS has claimed that a Christian-Muslim alliance is working in tandem to keep the majority community out.