Thiruvananthapuram | Causing deep embarrassment to Congress-led UDF government on the floor of Kerala Assembly, an MLA in the treasury benches belonging to minor partner Kerala Congress(B) today hurled corruption charges at Public Works Ministry presided by V K Ebrahim Kunju of the Indian Union Muslim League. While the ruling coalition was caught unaware by former minister K B Ganesh Kumar’s outburst, CPI-M led LDF Opposition seized on it to attack the Oommen Chandy Government and forced early adjournment of the House by vehemently demanding that a House Committee look into the allegation.
Ganesh Kumar leveled the charges while calling the attention of the House on the poor shape of roads to Sabarimala where the pilgrimage is on and blamed Public Works Department squarely for it. He alleged that three members in the Minister’s staff had indulged in corruption and the minister was not able to check them. As Ganesh Kumar went on, members of IUML, the second largest partner in the UDF, sought to counter him by raising their voice, but many of the LDF members stood up and asked Ganesh Kumar to go ahead and wanted to know what the government had to say on this.
In his reply, Ebrahim Kunju stoutly refuted Ganesh Kumar’s charges holding that the allegations were totally baseless. He charged Ganesh Kumar with raising the allegations with certain ulterior motives. Keeping the issue live, Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan asked the government after a while whether the government was ready to form a Assembly committee to probe the charges leveled by Ganesh Kumar. Intervening, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said government would examine the issue and decide later what to do.
Amid loud sloganeering by the opposition, Deputy Speaker N Sakthan rushed through day’s business and adjourned the House ahead of normal schedule. Allegation of Ganesh Kumar, the sole MLA of KC(B), had its fallout outside the House immediately with IUML expressing strong protest at the manner a ruling front legislator put government in a bind in the House and demanded action against him. According to IUML sources, the party is likely to demand action against Ganesh Kumar in the next UDF liaison committee.
An actor-turned politician and son of KC(B) leader R Balakrishna Pillai, Ganesh Kumar was forced to quit the Ministry in April, 2013, in the wake of domestic violence complaint by his estranged wife. A few weeks back, Ganesh had openly warned that he would reveal certain names of corrupt people in the government after suspension of PWD Secretary T O Sooraj for allegedly amassing wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income.