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Glimpses from His life

BIOGRAPHY

      R. Balakrishna Pillai (born 8 March 1935) is a former Minister of Kerala, India, who has held portfolios like Transport, Electricity. Member of Legislative Assembly from Kottarakara Constituency in Kollam district for decades. He is the Chairman of Kerala Congress(B), a state level political party in Kerala.

Early Life

He was born to Keezhoottu Raman Pillai of Valakom and Karthiyaniamma in 1935. He was the youngest child and the only son of this couple He is married to Valsala,daughter of Attara Parameswaran PIllai and sister of novelist P R Shyamala. They have two daughters, Usha and Bindu and a son, K. B. Ganesh Kumar. Usha is married to K Mohandas, a senior IAS Officer who is Secretary to the Government of India. Bindu is married to T Balakrishnan, IAS, who is Principal Secretary (Industries) with the Government of Kerala. Ganesh Kumar is a Malayalam film actor and the sitting MLA of Pathanapuram and has been Transport Minister.

Political Career

He was elected to Kerala Legislative Assembly for the first time in 1960 from the Pathanapuram Assembly Constituency of Kollam district, as a candidate of the Indian National Congress, at the age of 25 and holds the record for becoming the youngest MLA. In 1964, fifteen MLAs led by K M George and Balakrishna Pillai left the Congress and formed a regional Party called the Kerala Congress. Pillai won the elections from his home constituency Kottarakara in 1965 but was defeated in the next two elections of 1967 and 1970. He was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1971 General Election from Mavelikara Constituency defeating S. Ramachandran Pillai of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)) and served as the Member of Parliament (MP) till 1977. He returned to State Politics in 1977 and won the all the General Elections there after representing Kottarakara in 1977, 1980, 1982, 1987, 1991, 1996, and 2001, but was defeated in the 2006 election. His victory margin of 37000 votes in 1980 remained a record for the State Assembly polls for more than a quarter century. He is one of the Founder Members of United Democratic Front (UDF). He was minister for several years starting from 1975 in different Ministries headed by C. Achutha Menon, K. Karunakaran, E. K. Nayanar, and A. K. Antony.

CONTROVERSIES


 

GRAPHITE CASE

Kerala government used to sell electricity to states like Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and territories like Pondicherry and still continuing.

During that period Kerala government sold electricity to the Karnataka government @ 45 paise / unit. The Karnataka government sold that electricity to the graphite company @ 90 paise / unit. Then the graphite company requested the Karnataka government to reduce the electricity price to 80 paise from 90 paise. In that case, the graphite company got a profit of 19 lakh. The Kerala minister is not directly involved in this case. This price reduction is between the Karnataka government and the graphite company. What a Kerala minister can do in this case?

This case was created deliberately by some leaders. This has been hunting me for 15 years.

When the case reached the Supreme Court, they asked three questions.

1. Was there any sale of electricity, during power cut?

2. Is there any pending amount to receive?

3. Is there any role played by Kerala minister in the agreement between Graphite company and Karnataka government The answer was no for all the three questions The case mentally tortured him for 15 years.

As he was innocent in all these cases, he was mentally tortured by the behavior of his own party people and from other parties too, which lead him to the stage of great disappointment.

PUNJAB MODEL SPEECH

When R Balakrishna Pillai was in charge of the railway ministry in Kerala, chief minister K. Karunakaran and he met Sri Indira Gandhi, the prime minister of India, for setting up a railway coach factory at Palakad. After having completed the land acquisition for the factory, arrangements were made for the foundation stone laying ceremony by Srimathi Indhira Gandhi, and then unexpectedly she was assassinated on October 31, 1984. Rajiv Gandhi was immediately appointed as the prime minister. In order to appease the revolutionary mentality of Punjab youth, the coach factory was shifted to Kapurtala.

In reference to the above incident, at the end of his speech he mentioned “Does this mean that Kerala should also have behaved like Punjab?” .But it is not Keralites culture to do so!

This was misquoted by Mathtrubhumi and taken up later by the then youth Congress president, who made a case out of it, which led to my resignation from the ministry. In the Supreme Court, after a long legal battle, during which he was sidelined by his own party, and later found him to be innocent. Time has proved that what Pillai said was true.
"I still do not know why that statement was misquoted, misrepresented and legalised in a democratic country like India."

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