T. Satisan, Kochi
KERALA Government Chief Whip and leader of Kerala Congress (M) Shri P.C. George is always in the lime light, thanks to the controversies he creates and the manner in which he sticks on to them later. This time his outspoken press briefing was against Shri K.B. Ganeshkumar, Minister for forest and Cinema representing Kerala Congress (B), led by R. Balakrishna Pillai, the minister’s father. The other day George told media persons that a man met the minister in his official residence last month and slapped him owing to the minister’s illicit relationship with his wife. Infact George was referring to a news paper report. However the newspaper had not mentioned the name of the minister. George said that, he named the minister to avoid confusion in people’s mind. He went to the extent that if he has not revealed the name, people would keep on suspecting innocent ministers.
He said that some people had asked him whether it was the CM or the finance minister the paper was referring to.
Ganeshkumar immediately denied the charge and said that the chief whip was crossing the limits. He met the chief minister and conveyed his protest against George’s outburst on him. Meanwhile Ganesh’s wife Dr. Yamini Thankachi is reported to have visited CM and told him that Ganesh has been physically harrassing her. She wanted CM to talk to Ganesh to agree for a divorce. Media reports suggest that she met the CM after meeting her father-in-law and party chief Shri R. Balakrishna Pillai. Pillai is a veteran in Kerala politics and has been an MLA, MP and minister for several times. It is to be reminisced that Pillai has been demanding the resignation of Ganeshkumar since the former came out of the jail after serving imprisonment in a corruption case. Pillai who is also a prominent leader of NSS (Nair Service Society, the caste organisation of Nair community in Kerala) and commands the support of NSS general secretary G. Sukumaran Nair in his political moves. He does have a good rapport with SNDP (Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam, the caste organisation of Ezhava community) also. Recently SNDP general secretary Shri Vellappalli Natesan told media persons, in presence of Balakrishna Pilliai, that Ganeshkumar’s personal character is tainted.
Now, in the face of latest development the battle line has been drawn between the two different factions, whether Ganesh should resign or not. Government chief whip and opposition leaders are for immediate resignation of Ganeshkumar. But, UDF partners in general are against Ganesh’s resignation. In this regard CM Oommen Chandy is really in a fix as Shri Balakrishna Pillai is the blue eyed boy of NSS., If Ganesh continues in the ministry it will antagonise NSS. In fact Pillai has been demanding Chandy to sack his son from the ministry since long. The latest developments will sharpen the arguments of Pillai. It is reported that Yamini has got total support of her father-in-law. SNDP also will be unhappy if no action is taken against Ganesh. Keeping both powerful communities like Nair and Ezhava in good humour is an essential step as both the communities have been complaining about the upper hand Indian Union Muslim League and Kerala Congress have been enjoying which is beneficial to Muslims and Christians.
The recent UDF meeting decided that Ganesh do not have to resign. They have authorized CM Chandy to take appropriate action when it is necessary. CPM state supremo Shri Pinarayi Vijayan told the press that Oommen Chandy should stop wavering like this. He should either sack Ganesh in the wake of allegations or if he thinks that George’s allegations are wrong, he should be sacked from the post of government Chief whip. The Chief whip is supposed to be an authentic spokesman of the government, if he talks irresponsibly CM should sack him. CPM leader added that when sex scandals and allegations came up against two district secretaries of the CPM, party removed them from their posts. Still Oomnen Chandy had argued that party actions were not enough and legal actions should also be taken. Now, Pinarayi wonders what course of action CM is up to.
BJP state president Shri V. Muraleedharan told Organiser that CM Chandy should tell the people what the truth is. He should clarify if Ganesh is right or George is right.
A significant incident took place after the completion of the UDF meeting: Ganesh met his father Shri R. Balakrishna Pillai. He went to meet his father along with his ministerial colleague and RSP (B) leader Shri Shibu Baby John. It was as per the UDF decision. Both father and son have not disclosed what transpired between the two.
To add insult to the injury, JSS (a UDF constituent) chief and former CPM fire brand Smt K.R. Gowri Amma told journalists that about 31 years ago a woman and child had come to the assembly in search of PC George. This allegation leads to the conclusion that George is also immoral. But, George retaliated that Gowri Amma (90) has lost her memory and hence the allegation is insignificant.
George is still in a fighting mood and said that it was due to the disclosure of Ganesh’s wife to him that he revealed the name of Ganesh as the minister who was slapped by a woman’s husband. There is a general observation in Kerala that George took this extreme step against Ganesh in the wake of his serious differences of opinion with the minister in Nelliampathy forest issue. Ganesh supported Congress’s young ‘green brigade’ who argued that the forest land should be taken over by the government when the tenancy contract with the present holders expire. George was against it. He argued that the holders are genuine agriculturists and they have every right to get the tenancy extended.
Another observation is that Chandy has been waiting for a chance to get rid of Ganesh from the ministry for the sake of pleasing Balakrishna Pillai, NSS and SNDP. So, the CM might have used George to create a suitable situation for sacking Ganesh.
People of Kerala is waiting to see what is in store for Ommen Chandy’s apple cart.