Center's Onam gift: Kerala leaders hail friend Kannanthanam's ministerial berth

Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala said he does not think any single leader in the Kerala BJP was happy about Alphons becoming a minister. The central leadership doesn't care about the opinion or suggestion of the state leaders.

The saffron party's national spokesperson and in charge of Meghalaya unit Nalin Kohli was among the first BJP leaders to publicly declare that the Centre wasn't making any attempt to bring a country-wide legislation against cow slaughter, asserting that doing so was the express purview of respective state governments. Kannanthanam was never been a choice of the party state president Kummanam Rajasekharan or that of any of the warring factions in the party.

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Congratulating him, Surendran said: "Alphons Kannanthanam has been the nightmare of everyone who is corrupt". "Kannanthanam was chosen not just for his administrative calibre and analytical skills". A former IAS officer of the 1979 batch of Kerala cadre, Alphons Kannanthanam also got a place in Team Modi. The explanation given by the state BJP leadership is that all the staff members have gone to their homes on the eve of Onam. His surprise inclusion in the ministry is believed to be an attempt by the BJP to woo the Christians, second largest minority group in Kerala. The lack of confidence the central leadership has in the state unit was evident a couple of times in the past.

Alphons Kannanthanam, the new minister of state in the ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY), took up his portfolio on Monday, saying data security and the digital empowerment of citizens will be key focus areas of the ministry.

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Two other new faces are Ashwini Kumar Choubey, a member of the Lok Sabha from Bihar, and Shiv Pratap Shukla from Uttar Pradesh.All the new ministers are from the BJP as its allies were not part of the exercise.Six ministers of the Union Cabinet had put in their papers, days ahead of the reshuffle. The ministerial berth is a gift for his political stands. He said that Kannanthanam would be able to promote the development aspirations of the state.

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