THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A year after Mr Alphons Kannanthanam got a rude jolt when he missed being the first independent Administrator of Union Territory of Chandigarh, come Sunday, he is all set to receive a plum post. When nine new union ministers are to be appointed in the BJP ministry, Kerala too has reasons to be happy. Mr Alphons Kannan-thanam, 64, BJP national executive member, is also likely to be in. The swearing-in is scheduled for Sunday 10:30 am.
Party leaders like Bhupender Yadav, Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Prahlad Patel, Suresh Angadi, Satyapal Singh, Himanta Biswa Sarma, Anurag Thakur, Shobha Karandlaje, Maheish Girri and Prahlad Joshi are probable ministers. Ashwini Choubey and Pravesh Verma, late BJP leader Sahib Singh' son, were also contenders. A cloud of uncertainty, however, hung over the participation of the BJP allies like the JD(U) and Shiv Sena in the reshuffle, the third since the NDA came to power in 2014, adds PTI. "There was no such talk of JD (U) joining the Union Council. No talks were held on the issue (between the BJP and JD (U))," Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said in Patna.
BJP chief Amit Shah returned to the capital on Saturday after attending a crucial coordination meeting with various RSS outfits in Vrindavan, and he and Mr Modi gave final touches to new ministry. More than half-a-dozen ministers are expected to make way for new faces and portfolios of some could be changed. Xian factor: By inducting Kannant-hanam, BJP is trying to woo the Christian voters in Kerala, he being a Roman Catholic. It should be recalled that this is the second time a Christian BJP leader is being included in the union council. Mr P. C. Thomas, who won from Moovattupuzha Lok Sabha constituency as a NDA candidate, was the first ever NDA central minister directly elected from Kerala in the 14th Lok Sabha.
Mr Kannanthanam reserved his comments to DC saying he waiting for confirmation, but said he was elated over the news that he would soon be a union minister from Kerala. This former bureaucrat turned politician belongs to Manimala in Kottayam. He belonged to the 1979 batch of the IAS in Kerala cadre. Kannanthanam who is expected to be sworn in as union minister on Sunday at 10:30 am, had shot into limelight in 90’s when as Commissioner of Delhi Development Authority demolished 14,800 illegal structures, earning him the title “Demolition Man.” Mr Kannanthanam was elected a member of Kerala Assembly, from Kanjirappally in Kottayam, with the support of CPM during the 2006 V. S. Achuthan-andan Government. Later he parted ways with the Left and joined hands with BJP, surprising many.