A moment of relief for debutant minister’s grieving mother


Thiruvananthapuram: For Janaki Amma, the mother of newly-appointed central minister of state K.C. Venugopal, it was a day of mixed emotions. She was happy, but not happy enough to forget a family tragedy.

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The news brought some relief to the mother who was still coming to terms with the death of her elder son Sasidharan only 10 days back. He had died of a heart attack.

“I am happy and I am sad. I don’t want to say anything more,” Amma said when asked about Venugopal’s new status.

Venugopal, a first-term member of parliament, was appointed minister of state for power in the United Progressive Alliance government’s cabinet reshuffle announced Wednesday.

Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi was a happy man.

Reacting to the reshuffle that saw the minister being given the additional charge of the ministry of civil aviation, Ravi said his first priority would be to see that the national carrier Air India regains its past glory.

“Airline companies will be helped to come out from the present losses that they have been incurring,” Ravi told reporters in Kochi.

E.M. Najeeb, president of the Confederation of the Tourism Industry in Kerala, said Ravi’s new posting should be seen as the biggest gain for Kerala which has three international airports and a fourth one at Kannur getting into shape.

“The ministries of overseas Indian affairs and civil aviation make the best combination for the growth of tourism in the state. Tourism along with IT is the only money-spinning industry in Kerala and both of these require a robust aviation programme,” Najeeb said.