The induction of Alphons Kannanthanam to the Modi ministry would not end Kerala Congress (Mani) group's political flirtation. But by placing Alphons in the union council of ministers, the Bharatiya Janata Party central leadership has narrowed the options of KC(M) which was struggling to keep its political turf relevant through covert and overt flings with the ruling Left Democratic Front and by dropping hints on its imminent entry to the NDA.
It cannot, for the time being at least, flaunt its NDA probabilities.
But at the same time, it would also be naive to think that the Amit Shah-led outfit would end once for all the saffron party's wooing of a minority-backed party which has a relevant domain in Christian-dominated pockets in central Kerala.
Alphons may not have a significant clout to woo various Christian denominations into the NDA-fold, but with his entry into the council of ministers, he may just get a bigger audience from the minorities.
That would tantamount to tapping into a slice of the KC(M) itself, according to the BJP's calculations.
Already there is talk that the SNDP Yogam general secretary Vellappally Natesan has made secret overtures to the Congress-led UDF, after a brief bonhomie with the ruling LDF.
Natesan does not hold any post in NDA-ally Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS) but wields significant clout as the SNDP Yogam boss. His son Thushar Vellappally leads the BDJS.
KC(M) had severed ties with the UDF and was keeping its options open on joining the NDA-led dispensation at the Center. At the same time, it was flirting with the CPM-led LDF in Kerala.
It has backed the LDF in a string of local bodies, which resulted in the UDF losing power.
But as of now, the KC (M) would seek a secure umbrella in LDF rather than vice-versa.
The issue KC(M) faces is that a majority of the MLAs hail from predominantly UDF constituencies and hence, the legislators would not want ties with the LDF.
The LDF is comfortable playing the hide-and-seek game with the KC(M) so long as it does not go into the NDA fold.
The LDF's mass base is intact and it wouldn't mind KC(M) even returning to the UDF fold, but an NDA tie up with Mani would not be in its interest.
Given this scenario, the Mani group has little options politically, but it can latch on to the current equidistant scenario till the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. It would then hope to make a last ditch effort if a favorable political scenario emerges.
A weakened UDF would not hesitate to embrace Mani group to its fold again given its political compulsions to stay afloat.
So at the moment, the cat-and-mouse game continues in God's Own political terrain.