Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has sought to disprove with evidence the Opposition allegation that former Minister and Kerala Congress (B) leader R. Balakrishna Pillai, who is undergoing imprisonment for corruption, had talked to him on the phone.
The Chief Minister said the Opposition allegation was that Balakrishna Pillai had contacted him on the mobile phone of his (Mr. Chandy’s) private secretary. The Chief Minister said he had asked the police to get the phone records and the call in question was made at 5.55 p.m. on September 24.
At that time, his private secretary P.S. Sreekumar’s phone was within the range of the Mulakkuzha mobile tower near Chengannur, whereas he (Mr. Chandy) was attending public functions in his Puthuppally constituency near Kottayam. After a function at Carithas near Kottayam, he had gone to attend the Ksheerotsavam at Puthuppally. Later, he had inaugurated a drinking water project at Manarcaud in Kottayam district. So, it was clear that he had not talked to Balakrishna Pillai.
Mr. Chandy said that whenever he wanted to contact Balakrishna Pillai, he had done so in public and legally after getting permission of the authorities concerned to visit him. He had met him in prison when he (Mr. Chandy) was Leader of the Opposition. Later, he had met him at Balakrishna Pillai’s home at Valakom when he was on parole.
Mr. Chandy said there was nothing wrong in allowing Balakrishna Pillai to get admitted to a private hospital in Thiruvananthapuram for treatment. It was the responsibility of the government to extend proper treatment to prisoners. They are usually given free treatment in government hospitals. When admitted to a private hospital, the prisoner or his family would have to meet the expenses.