Setting at rest speculation of an impending cabinet reshuffle of the UDF ministry which entered its third year in office, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Monday made it clear such an exercise was not in the agenda.
Speaking to reporters after meeting KPCC Chief Ramesh Chennithala in Thiruvananthapuram, he said a reshuffle was not on the cards now but there was a vacancy following the resignation of K B Ganesh Kumar, a nominee of Kerala Congress (B) who had held the Forest portfolio.
"Ruling UDF will discuss the matter connected with filling the vacancy created by the resignation of Ganesh Kumar and a decision will be taken, Mr Chandy said.
Asked whether Ganesh Kumar, who ran into trouble following a domestic discord, would return as minister, Mr Chandy said it was not discussed during the meeting with Mr Chennithala.
Mr Kumar, the lone KC(B) nominee in the ministry, resigned from the cabinet last month after his wife lodged a police complaint alleging domestic violence against him.
On media reports that Mr Chennithala would join the cabinet with a plum portfolio, Mr Chandy said he had not expressed a wish to do so.
"During the meeting today also, he (Chennithala) did not give any hint to join the ministry', he said adding it was for the KPCC chief to take a decision on that issue.
Mr Chandy said the KPCC President's post was a bigger position than a cabinet berth.
"At no point of time was the matter of reshuffle or Chennithala joining the ministry discussed in the UDF but the media made its own reports," the Chief Minister said.
Ever since UDF came to power in 2011, Mr Chandy had said Mr Chennithala could join the cabinet any time but that it was for him (Chennithala) and the high command to decide.
Congress leaders have clearly indicated that the vacancy left by Mr Kumar should be filled by a Congress nominee.
"This year's awardees are outstanding examples of putting the goals of the United Nations into action to confront the issues facing our planet and our future," he said.