Is it sibling rivalry that cost Ganesh Kumar his cabinet berth?


Five-time legislator, actor-turned-politician K.B.Ganesh Kumar was certain of securing a minister’s berth in Vijayan2021 cabinet, but his name did not make it to the list, leaving many perplexed.

The reason may likely be a sibling rivalry that has broken out in their family.

Kumar is the son of veteran Kerala politician R.Balakrishnan Pillai, who passed away early this month and in his more than seven-decade-long political career, was a minister in various cabinets of both the Left and the Right, and was the chairman of the Kerala Congress (B) a party, which moved over to the Left ahead of the 2016 assembly polls.

Kumar has two sisters, both married to senior IAS officials in the state, who both held numerous high posts and have since retired.

After Kumar’s name was missing, media reports surfaced that the reason why he was left out was because of an alleged tampering of the Will of his father Pillai, a charge that has been denied flatly by Kumar, who said he has no knowledge of it, besides a witness vouching for him.

His elder sister Usha is understood to have called on Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and even she claims she has not raised any issues. Nor did she say the assets of their father was distributed in a skewed manner and it favoured only Kumar and her younger sister Bindhu.

“I did not meet Vijayan for any of this as this is only a family issue. I decided to keep silent, but after I heard my younger sister speaking that nothing wrong has happened, I decided to speak out.

“The entire asset of our father have been given to Kumar and Bindhu. The witness who claimed of no wrongdoing can only say that as he is the close confidant of Kumar. So now the only way out is go legal and it will be done,” said Usha.

Pillai was the final word in his party-Kerala Congress (B) and since 2001, his son Kumar was a legislator and the then Chief Minister A.K.Antony sprang a surprise when Kumar was selected over his father in his cabinet, which left Pillai fretting and fuming.

But after a few years Pillai returned, but was booted out by Chandy, who succeeded Antony in 2004.

Pillai lost the 2006 assembly polls, after which he quit electoral politics.

In 2011 when Chandy returned as Chief Minister, Kumar was inducted as a Minister, but midway he had to quit following a tiff with his then wife.

Then the relation between Kerala Congress (B) and the Congress-led UDF strained, and they moved over to the CPI-M-led Left and in 2016, though Kumar won, he was not given a cabinet berth by Vijayan, but Pillai was given a post of a Commission which had cabinet status.

When decks were all cleared and Kumar was a sure certainty this time, the sudden bad blood between the siblings appears to have hit his ambitions hard.

Kumar, however, is yet to react on the present round of controversy.