The United Democratic Front (UDF)’s hopes of amicably settling the row between Kerala Congress (B) leader R. Balakrishna Pillai and his son, Forest Minister K.B. Ganesh Kumar, appear to be receding. This was the impression that Mr. Pillai sought to convey when UDF convener P.P. Thankachan called on him at his Kottarakkara residence on Tuesday morning.

Sources close to the Kerala Congress (B) said that Mr. Pillai would press for the withdrawal of his party’s nominee in the Chandy Cabinet at the UDF committee meeting on April 2 in the light of the refusal of Mr. Ganesh Kumar to fall in line with the party’s directive.

It would be recalled that Mr. Pillai had submitted in writing his party’s demand for the withdrawal of Mr. Ganesh Kumar from the Cabinet. Mr. Pillai reportedly told Mr. Thankachan that the Forest Minister had not yet agreed to shuffling some of his staff members and appointing persons nominated by the party. Mr. Pillai also wanted the induction of party nominees to the various boards and corporations allotted to the Kerala Congress (B).

He said he did not have much faith in the ongoing conciliation talks initiated at the behest of the UDF committee by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Ramesh Chennithala. He said that several formulas had been worked out during six such meetings held earlier, but the Minister had failed to implement it.

He reportedly expressed his reservations at Mr. Ganesh Kumar’s current stance now that the domestic issues related to his wife, Yamini, was nearing an amicable settlement.

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