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Who Is Thomas Chandy Who Has Put Kerala Govt in Trouble and What Is The Land Grab Controversy

The Kerala High Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition by beleaguered Kerala minister Thomas Chandy challenging a report by the Alappuzha district collector on alleged encroachments by a company in which he has stake.

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Updated:November 15, 2017, 3:12 PM IST
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Who Is Thomas Chandy Who Has Put Kerala Govt in Trouble and What Is The Land Grab Controversy
File photo of Kerala Transport Minister Thomas Chandy.
The Kerala High Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition by beleaguered Kerala minister Thomas Chandy challenging a report by the Alappuzha district collector on alleged encroachments by a company in which he has stake. While it was alleged that Thomas Chandy’s resort has encroached land and paddy fields in Alappuzha, the minister challenged the petition at the HC, only to be reprimanded by the court. Chandy resigned from his post on Wednesday.

Who is Thomas Chandy?

- Chandy is the Transport Minister in the Pinarayi Vijayan-led LDF government in Kerala.
- A member of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which allied itself with the CPM-led coalition in the 2016 Assembly polls.
- He defeated Jacob Abraham of the Kerala Congress (Mani) to win from the Kuttanad Assembly seat in Alappuzha district.
- Chandy was brought into the state cabinet following the resignation of fellow NCP leader AK Saseendran, who was allegedly caught on tape having a lewd conversation with a woman.
- Besides politics, Chandy has a range of business interests from owning schools in Kuwait to hospitality firms in India.

The Land Grab Controversy

- Chandy has been facing allegations of encroaching upon a section of the Marthandam Lake in Alappuzha district.
- Land encroached for construction of a parking spot along with approach roads for the Lake Palace Resort.
- A report by Alappuzha district collector has purportedly confirmed that Chandy and his business associates violated rules.
- The report has recommended the restoration of the levelled land along with strong action against revenue, water and agriculture department officials.
- The report was submitted following an investigation into the alleged land encroachment ordered by the revenue ministry.
- Challenging the report, the minister had moved the Kerala High Court, which has dismissed his petition.
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