Pillai says the matter need not be discussed in UDF

Kerala Congress (B) chairman R. Balakrishna Pillai on Wednesday reiterated his party’s demand for the restoration of its Cabinet berth and the re-induction of his son K.B. Ganesh Kumar as a Minister.

Addressing a press conference here soon after his party’s State committee meeting, Mr. Pillai said the induction could not be delayed further and that he was confident that it would take place before parliamentary elections. He said he wanted the United Democratic Front to follow the coalition conventions of giving a slot for constituents in accordance with their relative strength and numbers in the Assembly.

Kerala Congress (B) is entitled to a berth as much as the Kerala Congress (Jacob). “I can’t understand why there should be any hurdles in implementing the basic principles of the coalition. Parties which are smaller than us have got representation in the Cabinet. We don’t want Cabinet status, but we want to be in the Cabinet,” he said in reply to a question.

Assurance

Mr. Pillai said Mr. Ganesh Kumar should have been re-inducted as Minister five months ago as per the assurance given by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Ramesh Chennithala. They had assured the party that he would be reinstated once he settled all his court cases. The UDF had authorised the Chief Minister to take an appropriate decision on his re-induction. The matter need not be discussed in the UDF, Mr. Pillai said.

He maintained that Mr. Ganesh Kumar had not submitted his resignation letter, even though he had expressed his frustration to him. None of the UDF partners were opposed to his returning to the Cabinet.

With regard to the solar case, Mr. Pillai said Mr. Chandy had erred in the selection of his staff members. He should have been more cautious in this. Allegations about his involvement in the scam were baseless.

Data centre case

Referring to the State data centre case, he wondered whether the State government would be able to win the case against the Reliance group in the Supreme Court. The main culprit was the Reliance group which was the main beneficiary of the data centre deal and not mediator Nandakumar.

Mr. Pillai said Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan had links with the Reliance group. It was evident that some effort was made to help Mr. Nandakumar in the data centre case before the Supreme Court. He was inclined to believe what Government Chief Whip P.C. George had stated about this.

He also faulted the Home Department for its failure to issue notification on handing over the data centre case to the CBI even after a decision was taken at the highest level.

Mr. Pillai also expressed his reservation at the State government’s action of cancelling the license of Thejus daily on ground of stoking communal passions. It would be better for the government to observe caution while taking action in matters of these kinds, he added.

More In: Kerala | National