KB Ganesh Kumar, a minister in the Congress-led UDF government in Kerala, has resigned following allegations of domestic violence by wife. Mr Kumar put in his papers after a meeting with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.
Sources say the resignation came after his wife Yamini
Thankachy filed a police complaint against him late on Monday evening. Before that, Ms Thankachy, a doctor by profession, had held a press conference alleging that
her husband, a former film actor, had physically abused and tortured her
for the last 14 years. She alleged that very recently, the minister had
"held me by the hair and beaten me up."
Ms Thankachy said this
only hours after Mr Kumar had filed for divorce and told the court that
his wife had attacked him. He submitted in court photographs that
purportedly show him with injuries to the face as evidence.
The incident had earlier sparked speculation that the scandal might force an embarrassed Kerala
government to ask its minister to resign. But Ganesh Kumar, who belongs
to the Kerala Congress - B, a UDF ally, had reportedly made it clear
that if he was made to resign, he would also quit his seat in the Kerala
Assembly. Ganesh Kumar is the only MLA from his party in the Kerala
Assembly and is the minister for Forest, Cinema and Sports.
The Chandy government has a very slim majority of five in the 140-member House and every legislator counts.
46-year-old Mr Kumar and Ms Thankachy have been married for 18 years.
They have two children. The minister's wife has alleged that she had
earlier complained to Chief Minister Chandy and other ministers about
the alleged domestic violence, but that they had done nothing. "I have
been cheated. I waited after being asked to do so by the Chief Minister.
I have been beaten for the past 14 years. Ganesh Kumar has been in an
illicit relationship," she said.
However, Mr Kumar said
that he was being blackmailed by his wife and that he wanted a detailed
investigation into what he termed was a "political conspiracy". "The chief minister is a respectable person, he knows the
complete truth... I want a detailed investigation by an impartial
authority... I am innocent, Yamini wants my money... she beat me up,
have submitted the photographs to the court," he had said.
has also been in the news lately for his political differences with his
father R Balakrishna Pillai, who founded the Kerala Congress - B. Mr
Pillai had reportedly asked Mr Chandy last month to remove his son from
his ministerial post.