Hands over resignation to Chandy in the wake of allegations by his wife

Kerala Forest Minister K.B. Ganesh Kumar handed over his resignation to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy late Monday night in the wake of his wife raising allegations of domestic violence against him.

Mr. Ganesh Kumar, the lone representative of the Kerala Congress (Balakrishna Pillai) group in the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) government, met the Chief Minister at his official residence around 11.30 p.m. on Monday and submitted his resignation. He cited "personal reasons" for his resignation.

Earlier evening, Yamini Thankachi had handed over to the Chief Minister a written complaint accusing the Minister of infidelity and domestic violence, charges that he publicly levelled against him at a news conference. Mr. Ganesh Kumar, at a retaliatory press conference, questioned her statements and claimed that it was he who was at the receiving end of violence.

Matters came to a head with the Minister's wife handing over her complaint to the Chief Minister and filing it at the Museum Police station. Following this, the Chief Minister held hurried consultations with KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala, Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leader and Industries Minister P.K. Kunhalikkutty, Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan and State Police Chief K.S. Balasubramanian. Soon, they were joined by Mr. Ganesh Kumar with his resignation letter.

Confirming receipt of the Forest Minister's resignation, Mr. Chandy told reporters that he had handed over the complaint against Mr. Ganesh Kumar to the State Police Chief for preparation of an FIR and investigation. The Minister tendered his resignation on moral grounds in the light of the decision to prepare FIR registered against him by the police. The resignation letter would be forwarded to the Governor on Tuesday, the Chief Minister said.

Mr. Ganesh Kumar said he had decided to step down as he did not stand in the way of the investigation. Terming the charges against him fabricated, the Minister said he wanted the truth to prevail. The Chief Minister, he said, had not sought his resignation. He had decided to step down not to put the Chief Minister in a difficult spot. He did not see any reason to resign his membership in the Assembly, Mr. Ganesh Kumar said.

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