R. Balakrishna Pillai
|R. Balakrishna Pillai|
8 March 1935 |
|Political party||Kerala Congress (1964–77,1985–91)|
|Children||Usha, Bindu, K. B. Ganesh Kumar|
R. Balakrishna Pillai is a veteran Indian politician, a former minister of the state of Kerala in India, who has held major portfolios like Transport and Electricity. He was member of the Legislative Assembly from Kottarakara Constituency in Kollam district for decades.His father was a wealthy Nair Jenmi ( Landlord ) of Valakom near Kottarakara, known as Kezhoot Raman Pillai,who had extensive landed areas in the then princely state of Travancore, which is now part of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. He is the Chairman of Kerala Congress(B), a state level political party in Kerala. Throughout his entire career as a politician, Mr Pillai remained a highly controversial figure in Kerala state politics.Gandeevam, a biography of R. Balakrishna Pillai written by Vrindavanam Venugopalan with a foreword by Dr. Sooranad Kunjan Pillai, was published by Viswakeralam Daily. Pillai's autobiography was published by DC Books in 2011.
R. Balakrishna Pillai was member of Thiruvathankur Student's Union (which later become Tirukochi Vidyarthi Federation).
Indian National Congress
Balakrishna Pillai later joined Indian National Congress.In 1960 he became a KPCC executive member and AICC member. 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 of Kerala.
Kerala Congress Formation
In 1964, fifteen MLAs led by K. M. George (including Balakrishna Pillai) left the Congress and formed a regional Party called the Kerala Congress, with K M george as the Chairman and Balakrishna Pillai as General Secretary. 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 and served as the Member of Parliament (MP) till 1977. From December 1975 to June 1976, he served as the Minister for Transport, Excise and Jails in the Kerala Cabinet.
Kerala Congress Split
After the death of K. M. George in 1976, there was tussle for control over the party between Balakrishna Pillai and K. M Mani. In 1977, Kerala Congress split into the Mani and Pillai groups. He returned to State legislature in 1977 and represented Kottarakara after winning the General Elections 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 in different Ministries headed by C. Achutha Menon, K. Karunakaran, E. K. Nayanar, and A. K. Antony.
Punishment by Supreme Court
The government appointed Justice K. Sukumaran to inquire into allegations related to the Idamalayar and Kallada Dam construction projects. Based on his report, R. Balakrishna Pillai and others were prosecuted by a Special Court. The Supreme Court on 10 February 2011 sentenced R. Balakrishna Pillai and two others to one-year imprisonment for allegedly abusing their position in the award of a contract for the Edamalayar hydroelectric power project. The apex court bench of Justices P. Sathasivam and B.S. Chauhan reversed the Kerala High Court judgment which had acquitted all the three. Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan had moved the Supreme Court, in his personal capacity, challenging the verdict of acquittal and the apex court allowed Achuthanandan's appeal.
- R. Balakrishna Pillai has been reelected Chairman of Kerala Congress(B). Insidekerala.com. Retrieved on 2 December 2011.
- Justice K. Sukumaran (December 2001). "NO FORESIGHT… NO FOLLOWUP" (PDF). IPT. Retrieved 23 April 2012.
- Apex court gives one-year jail to former Kerala minister. Sify.com (10 February 2011). Retrieved on 2011-12-02.