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Krishnankutty to replace JD-S Kerala Minister Mathew Thomas

Bengaluru/Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 23 (IANS) The national leadership of the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) on Friday decided to replace Mathew T. Thomas, state Minister for Water Resources, with party veteran K. Krishnankutty, said a senior party leader.

Speaking to the media in Bengaluru, party general secretary Danish Ali said he has already intimated the Left Democratic Front convenor A. Vijayaraghavan and a communique would be sent in this regard.

"Thomas has happily accepted the decision of the national leadership, and Krishnankutty will take his place. In 2016 itself this was decided. Thomas in 2009 had resigned when he was asked to do so by the national leadership and that was one of the main reasons, why Thomas was given the post in 2016," said Ali.

The JD-S is the third-largest ally of the CPM-led government and has three legislators -- Thomas, former state Minister C.K. Nanu and K. Krishnankutty -- in the state Assembly.

JD-S national President and former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda had called his three legislators to Bengaluru on Thursday to meet him, but Thomas did not turn up. Finally, the meeting with the others present took place on Friday when the decision was taken.

The present impasse in the JD-S began when the Pinarayi Vijayan government completed its two-and-a-half years in office.

Nanu had earlier told the media in Bengaluru that the national leadership had told them that there was an agreement that Thomas would relinquish the ministership in Krishnankutty's favour once the government completed the half-way mark of its five-year term.

However, this claim has been refuted by the Thomas camp and he is yet to respond to the fresh development.

Speaking to the media in Bengaluru, minister-designate Krishnankutty said everything has been sorted out.

"There are no major issues in the party and things are all fine. I will seek his (Thomas) help when I become a Minister," said Krishnankutty.

With the fresh session of the Kerala Assembly scheduled to begin on coming Tuesday, it remains to be seen if the new Minister would be sworn in before that.

--IANS

sg/nir


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