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Kerala Govt to Decide Fate of Thomas Chandy in Crucial Meet Today

While CPM’s alliance partner NCP has thrown its weight behind its minister, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has played a waiting game till now.

Neethu Reghukumar | CNN-News18

Updated:November 12, 2017, 12:06 AM IST
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Kerala Govt to Decide Fate of Thomas Chandy in Crucial Meet Today
File photo of Kerala Transport Minister Thomas Chandy.
Thiruvananthapuram: The fate of beleaguered Kerala transport minister Thomas Chandy will be decided on Sunday when the CPI(M)-led LDF government will take a call on ousting him from the state cabinet.

Sources told CNN-News18 that with the legal opinion going against Chandy, he is likely to be asked to step down from his post as transport minister.

This comes after 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.

But the chorus within Vijayan’s party for Chandy’s resignation has now reached its peak and CPI(M) members said they would settle for nothing short than the minister's resignation. They said they would raise their demand in Sunday’s meeting.

“LDF and this government have a zero-tolerance approach towards corruption. That has been our stand from the beginning. Two ministers resigned when allegations were made against them. The same should be done in the case of Thomas Chandy,” said a senior party leader.

The allegations against Chandy are that portions of Marthandam Lake in Alappuzha were levelled for the construction of his Lake Palace resort and paddy fields leading to the resort were filled in to construct a road. He is also accused of encroaching upon backwaters for constructing parking space.

A probe report submitted by district collector TV Anupama had confirmed the allegations to be prima facie true, but instead of taking action, the Vijayan government decided to send the report for further legal opinion.

Political analysts said that the delay in taking action is affecting the image of the left government as well as the CM.

Vijayan had assumed the moral high ground when his close aide and sports and industries minister, EP Jayarajan, was forced to resign as minister over charges of nepotism in key appointments in state public sector enterprises.

Chandy’s predecessor, AK Saseendran, also had to resign after allegations of misconduct with a woman surfaced against him.

“The CM seems very unwilling to act even with so much material out in the open. The criticism in social media is that since this minister is loaded with money, the government is not taking any action,” said political analyst BRP Bhaskar.

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| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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