CPI ministers stay away from cabinet meet

Court Slams Thomas Chandy, Kerala Chief Minister May Have To Lose Him

Court Slams Thomas Chandy, Kerala Chief Minister May Have To Lose Him

In a setback to the Pinarayi Vijayan government, the Kerala High Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition by state Transport Minister Thomas Chandy for quashing the Alappuzha district collector's report which alleged large-scale land grab by him to build a plush resort.

Emotions ran high at the executive in which a vast majority clamoured for the ouster of Mr. Chandy, who stayed off the meeting despite being present at his residence in Kochi. The NCP executive meet in Kochi on Tuesday discussed the matter and chose to inform the national leadership about its decision on it. But Chandy, the richest cabinet member and the sole NCP minister, remains in place.

Chandy is accused of environmental violations in Kerala at a resort in Alappuzha, "Lake Palace Resort", which he owns. The writ petition shows that the minister has lost trust in the chief minister and the government in which he is also a minister. Vijayan said the LDF had earlier chose to entrust him to take an appropriate decision on the matter after looking into all aspects.

The High Court said that the resignation of Transport Minister Thomas Chandy is ideal and came down heavily on his decision to file a plea against the district collector's report.

The Chief Minister said the Chandy issue did not figure in Wednesday's cabinet meeting, which took the decision on providing 10% reservation for the economically backward in the forward community in Devaswom board appointments.

The resignation came just hours after the Cabinet meeting was boycotted by four ministers of the CPI, a constituent of the Left Democratic Front (LDF), CNN News18 reported. "I'll arrive at decision after getting a copy of the verdict", he had said while speaking to media persons here on Tuesday evening.

Pinarayi also dismissed the criticism that he was giving undue time to Chandy to take a decision on the matter.

The resignation letter was handed over to the chief minister by NCP state President, T.P. Peethambaran Master. While E.P. Jayarajan, minister for industries and sports, had to leave after facing charges of nepotism past year, A.K. Saseendran, minister for transport, quit following allegations of sexual misconduct in April.

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