Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala’s LDF government has landed in further trouble and is likely to see another exit of a Cabinet minister with allegations of land grab against Transport Minister Thomas Chandy putting his party in a tight spot. Not just LDF, Chandy’s associations have also put Congress in the dock.
Congress MP Vivek Thankha appeared for Thomas Chandy at the Kerala High Court hearing on Tuesday even as the party was organising protests seeking his resignation on allegations of land grab and a subsequent report by the collector.
Youth Congress workers ended up showing black flags against their own MP Vivek Thankha when he was coming out of the hotel to appear in court. Congress leaders in Kerala have marked their protest over Vivek Thankha appearing for LDF Minister Thomas Chandy.
While the minister has moved the Kerala High Court, the court had some sharp words for Chandy and asked him how a minister can file a petition against the government. The court said the case should have been filed by the Chief Secretary.
“In a cabinet that has collective responsibility, without taking the Chief Minister into confidence approaching against a district collector's report is a classic case of disqualification… Are you saying that the court should protect you?” the HC said.
State Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala has conveyed his objection to AICC general secretary Mukul Wasnik.
Kerala Congress President M M Hassan has also marked his protest and said that had they known they would have approached High Command in advance and stopped Thankha from appearing for Chandy.
Former KPCC President and senior Congress leader V M Sudheeran also said that at a time when the state Congress was staging a protest, a Congress MP appearing for the same tainted minister is improper.
He reiterated his stand in a Facebook post and said that this is cheating the Congress workers in the state.
It has been alleged that Thomas Chandy’s resort has encroached land and paddy fields in Alappuzha.
The Alappuzha District Collector has submitted a report in this regard confirming the allegations of land encroachment and violation of Kerala’s paddy fields conservation initiatives.
Earlier, Kerala Advocate General, C P Sudhakara Prasad, told the state government that the district collector's report on alleged encroachment of land by Chandy is legally binding and its findings cannot be ignored.
While CPI(M)’s alliance partner NCP has thrown its weight behind its minister, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has played a waiting game till now.