Pillai gives up plans to contest under UDF pressure

Failing to get support from the UDF, jailed Kerala Congress (B) leader R Balakrishna Pillai gave up his plan to enter the fray for the April 13 assembly polls.

Last Updated: Mar 23, 2011, 21:45 PM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: Failing to get support
from the UDF, jailed Kerala Congress (B) leader R Balakrishna
Pillai on Wednesday gave up his plan to enter the fray for the April
13 assembly polls.

Pillai, a former minister serving one-year imprisonment
in a graft case, dropped his move after Congress leader
Oommen Chandy and UDF convener P P Thankachan called on him
at the central prison here.
After the meeting, Chandy said Pillai on his own had decided
not to contest the polls. His party nominee N N Murali would
be the UDF candidate for the Kottarakkara seat in Kollam,
from where Pillai had been elected as many as eight times.

Pillai`s son K B Ganesh Kumar, a sitting MLA and cine actor,
said his father himself took the initative for meeting the
UDF leaders to discuss the pros-and-cons of his move to
contest the polls.
KC (B)`s announcement yesterday regarding Pillai`s
candidature had put the Congress-led coalition in a fix as
the LDF had immediately seized the opportunity to attack the
UDF.

Pillai had been lodged in the prison a month back after the
Supreme Court convicted him in a corruption case relating to
awarding of contract for construction of tunnel and surge
shaft of Edamalayalar a hydro power project in 1980s, when
he was power minister.

Pillai was elected to the Kerala Assembly as many as eight
times but was defeated last time by Aysha Potti of the CPI-M.
He was also elected to the Lok Sabha in 1971 but returned to
the state politics as a minister in the C Achutha Menon
Government in 1975.

Potti has been re-nominted by her party in the segment.

PTI