Kerala Congress (B) supremo R Balakrishna Pillai has passed away at the age of 86. The leader had been admitted to a private hospital in Kottarakkara of Kollam district owing to respiratory issues. Balakrishna Pillai was a prominent figure in Kerala politics. He had won from the Kottarakkara Assembly constituency every term from 1977 to 2006. He was elected to the Assembly for the first time in 1960 from Pathanapuram, a neighbouring constituency of Kottarakkara.
Later, he won from Kottarakkara in 1965. Balakrishna Pillai also won in 1970, 1977, 1980, 1982, 1987, 1991, 1996, and in the 2001 elections. In the late 70s and early 80s, elections were held prior to completing five years because of unstable governments that didn't last their full term. In 2006, Pillai was defeated by CPMâ€™s Aisha Potty and after that, he did not contest elections.
Pillai had held various portfolios such as Transport and Power as a minister. His son, KB Ganesh Kumar is a movie actor-turned-politician. Ganesh Kumar is the MLA representing the Pathanapuram constituency since 2001 and this year too, he has held on to the seat. He was the minister of Transport in the AK Antony government in 2001 but stepped down in 2003, paving the way for his father's entry into the cabinet.
The party was allowed only one ministerial berth by the United Democratic Front led by the Congress, in which KC(B) was an ally. The KC(B) formally joined the Left Democratic Front led by the CPI(M) in December 2018.
Balakrishna Pillai was born to Keezhoote Raman Pillai, a former member of the Sree Moolam Praia Sabha and Karthayini Amma in 1934 at Valakom, Kottarakara. He was active in campus politics before entering the mainstream political arena.
Balakrishna Pillai was holding the post of Chairperson, Kerala State Welfare Commission for forward communities. He was also the chairperson of Kerala Congress (B) - his party, and a Director Board Member of the Nair Service Society.
Pillai had to be hospitalised while leading the recent election campaign for his son and incumbent MLA of Pathanapuram - KB Ganesh Kumar.