Kerala: Balakrishna Pillai does a volte-face, wants son back

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Thiruvananthapuram, May 27: For more than a year, veteran Kerala politician and chairman of Kerala Congress (Pillai) R Balakrishna Pillai's only demand was the ouster of his son from the cabinet. On Monday, he did a volte-face.

The father requested Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Monday to reinstate his son in the cabinet. "There is no case against him now. I do not know if the Congress party is against his return. The decision to take him rests with the chief minister," Pillai told reporters, emerging from Chandy's house in Thiruvananthapuram.

Balakrishna Pillai

Pillai's son KB Ganesh Kumar was the only legislator in the assembly from the Kerala Congress (Pillai) party. Chandy told the media that he will react on this issue Wednesday.

Pillai's son was the state forest minister in the Chandy cabinet. After differences of opinion surfaced between the father and son, Pillai's repeated demand to Chandy was to oust his son from the cabinet, on the ground that he was not paying any attention to party directives.

Kumar quit the cabinet April 1. But that was not because of his father's insistence, but because his wife Yamini Thankachi filed a police complaint accusing him of domestic violence.

Thankachi wrote to Chandy accusing her husband of violence. Chandy handed over the case to the director general of police, and the minister submitted his resignation.

As the case came up in court, the couple decided to file a divorce petition by mutual consent. Kerala government chief whip PC George said taking Kumar back into the cabinet would be a big blow for the United Democratic Front government.

"The larger question of morality in Kumar's case can never be swept under the carpet," George said. In the last session of the assembly, the opposition came down heavily on the chief minister, with allegations that he was shielding his cabinet colleague.

As the next session begins June 10, Chandy will be wary. Meanwhile, film star-turned-politician Kumar, at a public meeting Sunday night, said he would return, much like a boomerang, and that he had done no wrong. "The truth will ultimately come to my rescue," Kumar said.

IANS

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