Thomas Chandy Quits over Land Grab Row

Thiruvananthapuram:  NCP leader and Kerala’s Transport Minister Thomas Chandy, who had been in the middle of a row over alleged land grab allegations, has resigned from the LDF cabinet in the state.

Chandy’s resignation was handed over to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who forwarded it to the Governor. With this, Thomas Chandy becomes the third minister in the Kerala  cabinet to quit in a span of eighteen months. Thomas Chandy had been in the midst of controversy after charges were levelled aahgainst him for encroaching into water bodies and constructing a road through government-owned land for easier access to the Lake Palace resort owned by him in Alappuzha.

It remains to be seen whether the slot to be occupied by the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in the ministry formed by the LDF alliance will remain vacant or not. In the meantime, Chandy is believed to be gearing up to approach the Supreme Court this week.

Earlier in the day, one of the most prominent connstituents of the alliance, the Communist Party of India (CPI), had preferred to stay away from the weekly Kerala Cabinet meet in protest against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s non-intervention in Chandy’s land encroachment case.

The Chief Minister, who spoke to the media, however said that the Chandy issue was not discussed at the cabinet meet, and that NCP state president TP Peethambaran Master and Chandy had told him that they would get back to him after discussing the issue with the NCP national leadership.