Balakrishna Pillai slaps Minister staff member

Thiruvananthapuram: Former Minister and Kerala Congress (B) leader R Balakrishna Pillai has landed in fresh trouble after he allegedly slapped the Assistant Private Secretary (APS) to his son and State Minister for Forest, K B Ganesh Kumar.

The unsavory incident took place yesterday at the residence of Ganesh Kumar in Pathanapuram in Kollam district "in full public view," during which Pillai slapped APS Pradeep Kumar "several times," according to those present on the occasion.

Seventy seven year-old Pillai did not deny the incident, and told reporters Kumar had "misbehaved" with one of the senior leaders of KC(B) and even beat up a senior leader.

"If Pradeep Kumar had beaten someone, he is bound to get it back," Pillai said. When contacted, Pradeep Kumar claimed Pillai had slapped him without any provocation.

However, he added he would not lodge a complaint considering Pillai`s age and also he being the father of Ganesh Kumar, whom he "respected very much".

Pradeep Kumar also denied Pillai`s allegation that he had misbehaved with any senior leaders of KC-B.

Pillai, who was sentenced to jail last year by the Supreme Court for a year in a corruption case, was later freed under the remission granted by the state government on the occasion of state-formation day.

The incident is seen as an outcome of the widening rift between Pillai and Ganesh Kumar in the KC(B). Pillai had recenlty openly expressed dissatisfaction over the functioning of Ganesh Kumar and had said the Minister was not listening to any of the views of the party.