THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As efforts to bring in a thaw in the strained relations between UDF allies, Kerala Congress (B) leaders R Balakrishna Pillai and his minister son K B Ganesh Kumar are yet to bear any desired results, the government is steeling itself to confront pressure tactics both are expected to employ.
While Pillai is mounting pressure on the UDF leadership to make his son accountable to him and the party, Ganesh seems to have outsmarted his father on the strength of the fact that the UDF cannot ditch him, given the fragile majority of the Chandy government in the Assembly. That the UDF leadership has already conveyed the point to Pillai has only emboldened Ganesh.
The Nair Service Society piloted a damage control exercise since both Pillai and Ganesh are its high profile taluk union office-bearers, but in vain. NSS general secretary G Sukumaran Nair had arranged a reconciliation meet at Perunna the other day, but only Pillai turned up. Ganesh had reportedly informed that he will not yield to any compromise with his father. He also told the NSS leadership to inform his father that he is ready to quit the ministership, apparently putting the ball in the court of the UDF.
In spite of the efforts to set the UDF house in order by pacifying Pillai, the mudslinging by the father-son duo spilled out into the street with the son’s loyalists disrupting a meeting convened by the Pillai followers at Thalavoor in the Pathenapuram constituency. Furious over the attack on his men, Pillai rushed to the camp office of Ganesh at the Pathenapuram constituency and assaulted one of the personnel staff members of Ganesh in front of several people.
Following the incident, he even challenged Ganesh loyalists to file a complaint with the police against him if they had any complaint.
He later met the chief minister Oommen Chandy and told him that party’s minister was not toeing the party line and if he continued to be defiant of party leadership, the party would be forced to disown him and withdraw the minister.
“One who was allotted a seat to contest in the name of the party should accept the party first,” says Balakrishna Pillai. “He should correct himself. He should function in the manner of other ministers representing various constituent parties,” he added. Ganesh on the other hand maintains that he is not someone who could be cowed down through threats. “I’ll not heed any unfair directives,” he said. Interestingly, the main Opposition LDF is nowhere in the scene to cash in on the situation in Kerala Congress(B). Instead, rumours of Ganesh Kumar floating his own outfit and merging it after some time in the Congress are doing the rounds.