A day after the resignation drama, Kerala Congress(B) recorded strong displeasure and protest over the dilly-dallying by the UDF and Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in re-inducting the party’s lone MLA K B Ganesh Kumar into the state cabinet, at the state committee meet of the party convened here on Wednesday. The meet dismissed the plea of Ganesh to quit the Assembly and also stressed that it is for individual coalition parties to decide who all should represent a party in the government and not the UDF. In this context, what has been done to both the party and Ganesh on the issue of re-induction into the ministry was injustice.
Continuing his pressure tactics, party chairman R Balakrishna Pillai assured partymen and later underscored in front of the media also that the ministership should be allotted at the earliest. If not, it would inflict big damage to the UDF in the Lok Sabha polls.
However, Pillai insisted, in the presence of Ganesh Kumar, that his son had not quit his membership from the Assembly nor was any letter forwarded to him, as reported in the media on Tuesday.
“It is true that Ganesh had expressed his sentiments of being neglected. After all, the party should allow that and moreover, he should tender the resignation to the Speaker, if decided, and not to me,’’ Pillai said. Pillai, however, took utmost care not to lock horns with Chandy, even after repeated queries whether the Chief Minister is playing villain on the re-entry of Ganesh into the cabinet.
“I don’t think so,’’ he said. “He had discussed the matter with me, which is satisfactory,” Pillai added, without elaborating. “Something can be expected in a few days’ time,” he expressed confidence.
“Ganesh had not committed anything wrong. The cases with his former wife are over and the High Court has given its concurrence for an out-of-court settlement on sharing of assets while agreeing to a divorce,” Balakrishna Pillai told a press conference after the state committee meet.
“The party was told that once the cases are over, Ganesh will be re-inducted into the ministry. But nothing has happened so far even after five-and-a-half months, though the same gentlemen who had advised him to resign from the ministry had taken the initiative to thrash out an agreement with his former wife,” he noted.
Pillai also said that charges levelled by the former wife of Ganesh was not new. “Thirteen years ago, on the apparent prodding of a few, Yamini Thankachi had released pamphlets picturing Ganesh in bad light during the time of poll campaign. I still have the copies with me,’’ he said.
He also asked why the UDF should discuss again the induction of the Ganesh into the cabinet, when the front had unanimously entrusted the task with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, after cases against him were withdrawn or settled.
“We don’t believe that any of the coalition partners are opposed to his entry. Keeping a party’s representative from a coalition government will set a precedent,” he said.
“Why all this when it comes to our party alone? Did UDF decide on the nominees of Kerala Congress or Janata Dal in the ministry?,” he asked.
However, Pillai remained supportive to Chandy in the solar scam and asked why the media is after him when it is clear that the state had not lost a single penny or the government had supported the scamsters through policy measures.
“None had said that Chandy indulged in corruption. There were some lapses in his functioning in his office, probably in tune with his over-populist style of functioning, which had enabled the likes of Joppan, Jikku and the even more fraudulent Salim Raj, to have their way,’’ Pillai said.