Home India Politics Former Kerala minister Pillai to contest from jail

Former Kerala minister Pillai to contest from jail


Thiruvananthapuram : Jailed former minister R. Balakrishna Pillai will contest the April 13 assembly polls from Kottarakara assembly constituency, his party Kerala Congress (B) has decided. The party is a partner in the Congress-led United Democratic Front.

Pillai is currently lodged at the Central Prison here in a corruption case.

The decision to put up Pillai in the electoral contest was announced in a press statement issued by party general secretary N. Venugopala Nair Tuesday.

Speaking to IANS, Pillai’s film star-turned-legislator son K.B. Ganesh Kumar confirmed that his father will contest tne polls.

“He had talks with his lawyers and has got the advice that he can contest, and that’s how this decision has been arrived at. My father has the grit and determination,” said Kumar.

Both the father and son belong to Kerala Congress (B).

“We have been told that he can take the oath before the jail superintendent. All candidates contesting should take an oath,” said Kumar.

Pillai was handed a one-year jail term last month by the Supreme Court after upholding hisd conviction in the Idamalayar dam corruption case.

Pillai, 76, has been an eight-time legislator, of which seven times he has represented his home constituency Kottarakara in Kollam district.

The corruption case surfaced when in 1985 reports came that the Idamalayar dam tunnel had developed cracks and the then Left Front government appointed High Court Judge K. Sukumaran to look into it.

In 1988, the judicial report suggested that there were lapses in the project. The Left Front government accepted the report and ordered a Crime Branch probe and formed a special court for the trial.

In 1999, the special court charged Pillai and others and sentenced him to a five-year jail term.

At that time present Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan impleaded in the case when Pillai and others went in appeal to the Kerala High Court, which in 2004 exonerated them.

Following this, while the then Congress-led United Democratic Front did not go in for an appeal to the apex court, Achuthanandan in his personal capacity petitioned the apex court and fought the case.

It was in February that the apex court bench, comprising Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice B.S. Chauhan held Pillai and two others guilty, reversing the acquittal order of the Kerala High Court.

In the 2006 polls, Pillai lost from the Kottarakara constituency that he was representing uninterruptedly since 1977.