Any plan to reinduct K.B. Ganesh Kumar into the cabinet is facing stiff opposition not only from Congress leaders but also from the Malayalam film industry, making a cabinet rejig in Kerala a remote possibility.
The only person keen to take back Ganesh Kumar into the cabinet appears to be Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, while all other leaders in the ruling party are against the move.
Queried on the issue, Chandy told that nothing can be ruled out. “You are going to get nothing more from me on this.
Actor-turned-politician Ganesh Kumar – the lone legislator from the Kerala Congress (Pillai) headed by his father R. Balakrishna Pillai – had to quit as a minister last year after his wife complained of domestic violence. He, however, reached an out of court settlement with his estranged wife and opted for a mutually agreeddivorce. He later married another woman.
Following Ganesh Kumar’s ouster, outgoing state Congress president Ramesh Chennithala was accommodated in the cabinet.
A Congress minister close to Chandy said on the condition of anonymity that the chief minister would have to drop a Congress minister to pave the way for Ganesh Kumar’s return.
“In our party, cabinet posts are always shared between the different factions and also on the basis of religion and caste…if the chief minister takes back Kumar, then he will come under fire from the entire Congress party…,” said the minister.
The Kerala Congress (Pillai) is the only ally of the ruling United Democratic Front that does not have a minister in the cabinet. All the five other allies have at least one minister each regardless of their strength in the assembly.
The Malayalam film industry too is opposing Ganesh Kumar’s return. A leading actor said that it was not just the Congress party but a huge section from the industry was also opposing his return.
“No doubt he might have been a good minister, but the way he conducts himself is disliked by many in the film industry here.
“Even though the industry does not call the shots when it comes to naming a minister, since he is one among us, opinions from our side also becomes a factor…,” said the film actor, who did not wish to be named.
Speaker G. Karthikeyan has expressed his desire to step down as he is not keeping good health, which could open up a possibility of change. The next assembly session will be held during Dec 1-18.