Oommen Chandy will be the next Chief Minister of Kerala as the Congress Legislature Party which met here on Sunday unanimously elected the 68-year-old leader to head the UDF government.
There was no race for the post as KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala himself made it clear that he was not a candidate for the post. Chandy's name was supported by all the other 37 MLAs in the presence of AICC observers Madhusudhan Mistri and Mohsina Kidwai.
Earlier, the observers met the MLAs individually to know their choice of the leader and in the end Oommen Chandy was elected unanimously.
The AICC observers conveyed the decision of the MLAs to party president Sonia Gandhi who accepted it. Ramesh Chennithala proposed the name of Chandy, which was seconded by Aryadan Mohammad and G Karthikeyan.
Addressing the party MLAs, Oommen Chandy said though the UDF has won by a slender margin, the people have given the verdict for a change.
"A change for the government in the state. A change for the style of functioning of the government," he said.
"The UDF government will regain the lost trust of the people. The state has lost glorious five years on the development front. Our government will regain this lost opportunity. We will provide an investment-friendly climate in the state," he said.
"The slender margin will not deter our spirits. We will march ahead with unity and fulfil the faith the people has bestowed on the UDF. We have a very well-experienced leaders as MLAs. It is a historic moment and we are going to form a government ending all speculations," he added.
Ramesh Chennithala not to join government
Ramesh Chennithala rubbished media reports that he was in the race for the Chief Minister's post.
"I had contested the elections with the full support of the party high command. The media has been targeting me since then. For the past two days several media reports are targeting me once again with some baseless reports.
"I am not in the race for the Chief Minister's post and I have decided not to be part of the UDF Government also," he told reporters here.
"I will continue as the KPCC president and will work for strengthening the party," he added.