Friday, 22 February, 2019

Kerala CM to take decision on Thomas Chandy post

Thomas Chandy Transport minister Thomas Chandy in Kerala Assembly
Melinda Barton | 13 November, 2017, 19:50

It was called in the wake of the government receiving the legal opinion of the State Advocate General (AG) on a report of the Alappuzha district collector on the alleged encroachment.

Achuthanandan, who heads the Kerala Administrative Reforms Commission, expressed his anger against Chandy a day after the ruling LDF entrusted chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan with taking a decision on the demand for the minister's resignation.

The state government had sought the legal opinion of the AG on the matter after getting the report from District Collector T V Anupama. Chandy had also encroached on backwaters for constructing parking space, according to the collector's report. At the same time, Chandy challenged the collector's report in the High Court triggering a controversy over the appropriateness of a Minister questioning the validity of a report from the Government's own official.

A crucial meeting of the LDF held here yesterday had chose to entrust Vijayan with taking an appropriate decision on the Chandy issue.

This will be crucial for Thomas Chandy because if the high court makes any negative remarks against the minister, that would well be the last nail in the coffin.

Meanwhile, CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran said the state government would take an appropriate decision on the issue.

A number of senior leaders were tightlipped about the outcome of today's meeting.

Earlier, Mr Rajasekharan alleged that chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan was protecting Thomas Chandy despite the CPI and the allies disowning the minister. Chandy, now 70, was inducted into the Kerala Cabinet on April 1 exactly a week after senior NCP leader AK Saseendran resigned as Transports minister following the eruption of a sex scandal based on a honey-trap sting operation by a TV channel against him.

He had claimed that the allegations were levelled only to target him, "with the set agenda orchestrated" by his political rivals, interested parties and the media.

Later, a BJP delegation led by Rajasekharan met Governor P Sathasivam and submitted a memorandum demanding his resignation. Pinarayi can not take refuge in his usual excuses - that let the court give its decision or let the final legal opinion come.