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    Jailed Cong leader not to contest Kerala polls

    Thiruvananthapuram: Failing to get support from the UDF, jailed Kerala Congress (B) leader R Balakrishna Pillai on Wednesday gave up his plan to enter the fray for the April 13 assembly polls.

    Pillai, a former minister serving one-year imprisonment in a graft case, dropped his move after Congress leader Oommen Chandy and UDF convener P P Thankachan called on him at the central prison here.

    After the meeting, Chandy said Pillai on his own had decided not to contest the polls. His party nominee N N Murali would be the UDF candidate for the Kottarakkara seat in Kollam, from where Pillai had been elected as many as eight times.

    Pillai's son K B Ganesh Kumar, a sitting MLA and cine actor, said his father himself took the initiative for meeting the UDF leaders to discuss the pros-and-cons of his move to contest the polls.

    KC (B)'s announcement on Tuesday regarding Pillai's candidature had put the Congress-led coalition in a fix as the LDF had immediately seized the opportunity to attack the UDF.

    Pillai had been lodged in the prison a month back after the Supreme Court convicted him in a corruption case relating to awarding of contract for construction of tunnel and surge shaft of Edamalayalar a hydro power project in 1980s, when he was power minister.

    Pillai was elected to the Kerala Assembly as many as eight times but was defeated last time by Aysha Potti of the CPM.

    He was also elected to the Lok Sabha in 1971 but returned to the state politics as a minister in the C Achutha Menon Government in 1975.

    Potti has been re-nominated by her party in the segment.