God's own country

The ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala had given its ally Kerala Congress-Joseph an ultimatum to nominate a legislator in place of Kuruvilla, who resigned as public works minister.

Mons Joseph, 42, is a two-time legislator from Kaduthuruthy in Kottayam district and would be the new public works department minister.

The high power committee of the party met to decide between Surendran Pillai and Joseph. The decision was not an easy one with the five-member committee divided over the selection.

Kuruvilla replaced P.J. Joseph in September 2006 after the latter quit the cabinet over allegations that he misbehaved with a woman on board a Chennai-Kochi flight in August that year.

The party chairman was hoping against hope that he could return as minister after being exonerated in the case, which is now being probed by the Chennai police. But with the ultimatum from the LDF, Joseph succumbed to pressure and was forced to nominate a new minister in Mons Joseph.

What remains to be seen is the repercussions on the selection of Mons Joseph, as a section in the party led by Lok Sabha member P.C. Thomas had campaigned for Pillai as the next minister.

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