Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Three-time Kerala chief minister A.K. Antony may get a cabinet berth

Three-time Kerala chief minister A.K. Antony may get a cabinet berth in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government, reliable political sources say.

Sources close to the veteran said such a development should not come as a surprise because Antony is the sole Congress Working Committee (CWC) member from Kerala and is also chairman of the Congress disciplinary committee.

Antony's proximity to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, the known soft corner Manmohan Singh has for him, and his modest lifestyle all add up to the likelihood of his getting an important portfolio, the sources told IANS.

This is the third time Antony has been elected to the Rajya Sabha. He was civil supplies minister (1993-95) in Prime Minister P.V. Narashima Rao's cabinet.

He resigned in 1995 when a ministerial colleague linked his name to a corruption scandal.

Antony started his political career in 1956 as a student leader in Shertallai in Alappuzha district. He became president of the Kerala Students Union in 1964. He has held several posts since then.

In 1979, he became state Congress president and served twice more in that capacity. He became Kerala chief minister the first time in 1977, again in 1995 and for a third time in 2001.

He was named the Congress national general secretary for the first time in 1984.


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