It would be his second stint as Chief Minister heading the UDF, which wrested power from LDF by a wafer-thin majority in the recent Assembly polls.

67-year-old Chandy would be sworn in as Kerala Chief Minister on May 18. Chandy, who enjoyed the support of Congress President Sonia Gandhi and party general secretary Rahul Gandhi, emerged as the sole contender for the top post after KPCC President Ramesh Chennithala opted out of the race.

After a meeting of the 38-member CLP, presided by AICC observers Moshina Kidwai and Madhusudan Mistry, Chennithala announced that Chandy will lead the ministry.

“The choice was unanimous and has been endorsed by Congress President Sonia Gandhi,” he said.

Emerging from the CLP meet, Chandy said the UDF’s slender majority would not come in the way of the Front offering a stable and pro-people administration as the coalition would take it up as their prime task.

Chandy, who won for the 10th time in a row from his constituency Puthupally, enjoys the confidence of front partners, crucial in running the government with a majority of just two seats above the half-way mark of 70 in the 140-member house.

Chandy had an interim term as Chief Minister during 2004-06 after A K Antony resigned following the party’s rout in the state in 2004 Lok Sabha polls.

The UDF bagged 72 seats in the 140-member assembly, leaving 68 to CPI(M)-led LDF in the 13th April polls under outgoing Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan.