Kerala Transport Minister Thomas Chandy resigns

Transport Minister Thomas Chandy arriving at the Secretariat ahead of the Cabinet meeting in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: S. Gopakumar

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Thomas Chandy on Wednesday resigned as Transport Minister from the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) Cabinet in Kerala.

Mr. Chandy, who has been under fire for the past few months for alleged violation of various land-related laws and encroachment of the backwaters for his resort in Alappuzha district, handed over his resignation letter to party State president T.P. Peethambaran Master, who handed it over to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan around 1 p.m.

Third LDF Minister to go

Mr. Chandy is the third LDF Minister to put in his papers. Earlier, CPI(M) Central Committee member E.P. Jayarajan stepped down as Industries Minister following nepotism charges and Mr. Chandy's party colleague A.K. Saseendran resigned over sexual harassment charges by a woman journalist.

Mr. Chandy told a TV channel, while on his way to Alappuzha after handing over his resignation letter, that he had decided to resign as advised by the Chief Minister following the “stubborn stand” taken by “a coalition partner.”

Earlier in the day, Ministers from the CPI boycotted the weekly Cabinet meeting chaired by Mr. Vijayan.  Later he told media that Revenue Minister E. Chandrasekharan had sent in a letter to him while the Cabinet meeting was on, saying their party had decided to boycott the meeting if Mr. Chandy is participating in the meeting.

Court dismisses plea

Mr. Chandy had moved the Kerala High Court challenging a report by the Alappuzha Collector on the alleged encroachments by a company in which he has stake. The court dismissed his plea, holding that a Minister cannot file a petition against his own government, which had ordered the Collector’s probe.

CPI leaders had questioned how a Minister, who filed a case against the government that he is part, of could continue in office and discharge his constitutionally mandated responsibilities after having challenged a government action in a court of law.

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Printable version | Apr 13, 2021 1:58:14 AM |

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