Oommen Chandy’s last trial

Chief Minister

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy with Industries Minister P. K. Kunhalikutty, Vice Chairman of State Planning Board K. M. Chandrasekhar and some members of his personal staff. Joppan, accused in the solar scam is just behind Mr. Chandy

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has been called to Delhi for discussions. This will be his last trial as far as his continuation in office is concerned.

Mr. Chandy has tided over the solar scam which threatened to unseat him. Though at a cost, he has practically defeated the Opposition, silenced his opponent group in the party for the time being and brought peace with government Chief Whip P. C. George, who is vice president of the third major party in the ruling front; besides making the media that campaigned against him look ridiculous.

However, his victory could still be unconvincing for the Congress high command. The question that would worry the high command is whether Mr. Chandy could lead the ruling Front in the State to victory in the coming Lok Sabha polls. Congress party’s leverage in the scenario after election would be determined by seats won in the South.  And the message the party is getting from some Congress and other Front leaders in the State is not very positive.

It is notable that both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s office as well as Mr. Chandy’s Office has come under allegations. Mr. Singh is facing bigger charges than Mr. Chandy. So, the Congress high command will hesitate to ask Mr. Chandy to step down. Yet, it is notable that Mr. Singh has already expressed willingness to step aside. Will Mr. Chandy also be persuaded to step aside as he names the judge for judicial enquiry into the scam in a few weeks time? It will depend on how far Mr. Chandy could convince the high command that he could lead the party to win substantial number of Lok Sabha seats from the State.