Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Assembly witnessed high drama and had to be adjourned after the controversy surrounding former Forest Minister Ganesh Kumar and his estranged wife created an uproar. Opposition LDF demanded that Chief Minister Oommen Chandy should step down on moral grounds.
As soon as the Assembly began its proceedings, the LDF members were on their feet alleging Chandy had lost moral right to remain in office as he "misled" the House over the complaint by Yamini Thankachi against her husband. Though Speaker G Karthikeyan sought to pacify the agitated members saying the issue could be discussed during zero hour, they persisted with their demand forcing the House to be adjourned temporarily within few minutes after question hour.
Kerala's Forest Minister Ganesh Kumar was forced to step down following allegations of domestic violence. The minister, though, has claimed that he is being blackmailed by his wife. He has filed for divorce alleging physical abuse.
Ganesh Kumar's estranged wife Yamini Thankachi went public on Monday alleging abuse and illicit affairs even accusing Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy of protecting her husband. "Each time I questioned him about his illicit affairs, I was abused. This has been going on for 16 years. When I approached the Chief Minister, he promised to help me. But he didn't. The Chief Minister has cheated me," Yamini said.
Chandy, however, claimed she did not hand over any complaint. "She had met me, but did not hand over a complaint. Many of my colleagues were also involved in reconciliation attempts. If she gives a complaint, legal procedures will be initiated," Chandy said.
On the other hand, Ganesh Kumar, too, has filed for divorce alleging physical abuse by his wife. He has furnished photographs as proof.
"This is blackmail. I demand a probe. The Chief Minister tried to view it as a family matter and attempted reconciliation. My wife manhandled me. No outsider could have attacked me as I have a gunman," Ganesh said.
One of the minister's aides, Riju, has also come out in support of him. "It was she who hit him, not the other way round. He was having tea in his office room. She asked me to step out of the room and she locked it from inside," Riju said.
(With additional information from PTI)