Updated: January 29, 2015 2:22:44 pm
Senior UDF leader R Balakrishna Pillai, who has an estranged relation with the Congress leadership, on Thursday, asked Chief Minister Oommen Chandy to correct himself before preaching others to mend their ways.
The other day, the UDF co-ordination committee had asked Pillai to stop troubling the government. Pillai was kept away from the meeting after he supported the corruption charges raised against Finance Minister K M Mani.
Reacting to the UDF decision to put him on “probation”, Pillai said let Chandy correct himself. “Chandy is protecting the corrupt ministers. Two years back, I had brought to Chandy’s notice about a minister indulging in corruption. When I had written to him twice on that minister’s corruption, Chandy should have probed into it. Instead, he rejected my allegations with contempt. Let Chandy and UDF correct their stand at first,” said Pillai.
He said several ministers had taken money in the bar licence issue. But it was up to the investigating agency to find evidence. “It is not just one minister who had taken bribe for renewing bar licence.”
Pillai said he would continue in the UDF although he would not attend the meetings of its co-ordination panel.
Oommen Chandy did not respond to the latest salvo from Pillai.
Chandy’s confidence to take on Pillai stems mainly from two factors. Pillai’s rebellion would not endanger the Congress government as his Kerala Congress ( B) has only a legislator in the 75-strong UDF contingent in the assembly.
Another factor that should have caused a worry for Chandy would have been the stand of upper class Nair outfit Nair Service Society (NSS), in which Pillai is a prominent figure. Giving a relief for Chandy, NSS said it was with Mani in the bar bribery issue.
NSS general secretary G Sukumaran Nair had said Mani was a best relative of Nair outfit, which wanted the UDF government complete its five year term. At the same time, Nair did not express any concern over the UDF move to sideline Pillai.
Chandy has also improved his relation with NSS in the recent past. Earlier this month, he had been one of the few invitees at a major community function organized by NSS. Chandy is now asserting against Pillai mainly because of his better rapport with NSS leadership.
Two years back, when Pillia’s son K B Ganesh Kumar had to quit as forest minister following a domestic dispute, Chandy set off it with conferring a chairman post of a forward caste development corporation on Pillai with Cabinet rank.
Although Kerala has several development corporations, including one for backward communities, none of their chairpersons have cabinet rank. Such an out of turn decision was taken by Chandy to pamper the NSS.
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