Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 18 (UNI) Kerala Congress (Joseph) leader Mons Joseph was today sworn in as a Minister in the Left Democratic Front (LDF) Government in Kerala.
Governor R L Bhatia administered the oath of office to Mr Joseph at a simple ceremony at the Raj Bhavan here.
Mr Joseph was inducted into the cabinet, replacing Mr T U Kuruvila, who resigned as the Public Works Department Minister last month, following allegations of irregularities in a land deal involving his family.
The swearing in ceremony was boycotted by the Opposition United Democratic Front.
Assembly Speaker K Radhakrishnan, Chief Minister V S Achuthanadan, Ministers and KC(J) Chairman P J Joseph attended the ceremony.
The decision to nominate Mr Joseph, who represents Kaduthuruthy constituency in Kottayam District, was taken at the party's High Power Committee meet last week. It was after a long period that the KC(J) found a replacement for Mr Kuruvila.
The party took the decision after the LDF had given an ultimatum to finalise its nominee stating that it could not allow the position allotted to the KC(J) in the Cabinet to remain vacant beyond October 12 as that would cause much embarrassment to the Front and the Government.
The nomination of Mr Joseph had created a confusion in the political circles as it was reported that he was chosen through draw of lots as the party leaders failed to reach a consensus with a section supporting the candidature of V Surendran Pillai, MLA. The KC (J), an ally in the LDF, had been plagued by controversies from the very beginning, when its Chairman P J Joseph had to quit after he was accused of misbehaving with a woman on a flight from Chennai. A year later, Mr Kuruvila, who succeeded Mr Joseph also followed the suit after he was forced to resign over a land scandal.