TPURAM/KOTTAYAM: Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan Friday sacked PWD Minister P J Joseph shortly after the latter announced his party Kerala Congress (J)s decision to quit ruling LDF and merge with Congress-led UDF partner Kerala Congress (Mani).
Hitting back swiftly after Joseph made public his plans in Kottayam, the Chief Minister sent a letter to Governor R S Gavai recommending his removal from the cabinet.
I have decided to remove Joseph from the ministry. He has betrayed the Front by holding talks with a UDF partner while remaining in LDF cabinet, Achuthanandan told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram.
Josephs supporters claimed their leader had already faxed his resignation to the Chief Ministers office.
Earlier in the day, KC (J) suffered a split as the anti-merger faction led by former union minister P C Thomas ousted Joseph as party chairman.