Ganesh Kumar faces sleaze charge

Thiruvananthapuram: In an embarrassment to ruling Congress-led UDF, government chief whip P C George Sunday cast Forest Minister K B Ganesh Kumar in poor light seizing on a newspaper report that "a minister in the state Cabinet was beaten up by the husband of a lady with whom he had an affair".

Picking up the report carried by a Malayalam daily Sunday without naming the minister, Chief Whip and Kerala Congress-M leader P C George said Kumar was the person mentioned in it.

Kumar, an actor-turned-politician belonging to Kerala Congress (B), hit back saying he would sue George for levelling a totally baseless charge.

Talking to reporters at Irattupetta in Kottayam, George said he was convinced it was Kumar who was beaten up, and added that he was revealing this to ensure that no other member of the Cabinet was under the shadow of suspicion.

Reacting sharply to George's charge, Ganesh Kumar told reporters at Pathanapuram, his constituency, that he would initiate legal action against him for his "malicious" move.

Asserting that no such incident had occurred, he said it was painful to see the government chief whip stooping to such a level.

"Ever since George has had differences with me on the issue of settlers in the forest land at Nelliyampathy, he has been targetting me," Kumar said.

Asked whether his father and Kerala Congress-B leader R Balakrishna Pillai had any role in the controversy, Kumar said the ultimate aim of his father and George was his removal from the ministry. "They are friends and something might have happened," he said.

Ganesh said he would complain against George before the UDF leadership, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Kerala Congress-M leader and Finance Minister K M Mani.

Pillai, chairman of Kerala Congress (B), has for long been pressing for removal of Ganesh Kumar from the Cabinet, despite his son being the lone legislator of the party.