Thiruvananthapuram: In a reprieve to Kerala Forests Minister K B Ganesh Kumar, who is facing allegation of an extra-marital affair, state committee of the ruling Congress-led UDF today decided not to immediately press for his resignation over the issue and authorised Chief Minister Oommen Chandy to take a final decision.
Leaders of the coalition partners were of the view that the allegation against Kumar was not a political issue, but a personal one, UDF convener P P Thankachan told reporters.
"The general feeling of the Front is that this is not a political issue for the coalition to take an urgent decision.But the Chief Minister has been authorised to take a final call at an appropriate time," he said.
Actor-politician, Kumar is the lone cabinet nominee of the Kerala Congress-B headed by his father and veteran politician R Balakrishna Pillai in the ministry. Pillai and Kumar have been at loggerheads for long.
Confirming the report that Kumar`s wife Yamini Thankachi had met Chandy complaining against her husband, Thankachan said the Chief Minister would take all aspects of the issue into account and take a suitable decision at the right time.
Chandy and KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala would also talk to Balakrishna Pillai, Kerala Congress-B chairman, who has been pressing for quite some time withdrawal of his son from the ministry for not heeding to party diktat.
The UDF decision appeared to have defused the image crisis that gripped the Front for the time being. Till last night, speculation was rife that Kumar had conveyed to Chief Minister his willingness to quit.
It was government Chief Whip P C George who first made the allegation against Kumar in public on March 3, seizing on a newspaper report which said a minister was beaten up by the husband of a woman with whom he had an affair.
The issue had since then snowballed into a mini-crisis denting the image of the two-year-old government.