Tragedy and a Disaster

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It’s tragic when anyone dies, but for Oommen Chandy, Kerala’s Chief Minister, a death of any MLA or minister means more than an emotional tragedy. When Kerala’s Food and Civil Supplies Minister TM Jacob passed away on 30 October, he left the UDF government with a very narrow majority in the 140 member Assembly. The UDF had 72 seats, which meant it had a majority of only two. Jacob’s death halved that margin. What’s worse is that the seat might not revert to the UDF in a bypoll. Jacob had won it by just 157 votes and that too because of infighting within the opposition LDF. Chandy is presumably mourning Jacob’s death much more than the others.