Chandy under pressure to re-induct minister


Thiruvananthapuram : Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy is under pressure from various quarters to re-induct former state forests and sports minister K.B. Ganesh Kumar into his cabinet.

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Kumar had to quit as the minister for forests and environment, sports and cinema April 1 after his wife, Yamini Thankachi, filed a police complaint accusing him of domestic violence against her.

Thankachi had also written to Chandy accusing Kumar of domestic violence. Chandy handed over the case to the director general of police.

The couple had filed for divorce April 11.

This issue had put Chandy in the dock for a few weeks after the Left opposition accused him of trying to broker peace between the estranged couple.

Kumar is the only legislator in the assembly from the Kerala Congress-Pillai (KC-P) party, of which his father, R. Balakrishna Pillai, is the chairman.

KC-P leaders have asked Chandy to re-induct Kumar into his cabinet. Sources said that the Kerala film fraternity is also pressuring Chandy to take Kumar back.

Leaders of the United Democratic Front (UDF) — led by Chandy — recently “authorised” the chief minister to take a decision on Kumar’s re-induction.

However, the chief minister told IANS that he has not yet taken any decision on the issue.

“I have been authorised to take a decision in this regard. I will look into all aspects, including the moral aspect,” Chandy said.

State Labour Minister Shibu Baby John Tuesday told reporters that the chief minister would take a call on Kumar’s re-induction into the cabinet as he has been given a “free hand” on it.

The opposition had alleged in the Kerala assembly that under Chandy’s rule, women in the state were not getting justice.

Last week, Kumar had asked Defence Minister A.K. Antony that he wished to return to the cabinet.

However, P.C. George, chief whip in the Kerala assembly, told IANS: “Kumar cannot return as a cabinet minister.”