Kerala Transport Minister resigns over encroachment charges

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Kerala Transport Minister Thomas Chandy, who is facing encroachment allegations, on Wednesday resigned from the CPI(M)-led LDF government headed by Pinarayi Vijayan.

The resignation comes a day after the Kerala High Court dismissed Chandy’s petition challenging a report of the Alappuzha district collector on alleged encroachments by a company in which he has stake.

This is the third minister in the Vijayan cabinet to resign after the LDF government came to power in May 2016.

Earlier, A K Saseendran of the NCP had resigned after a sleaze audio clip with a woman went viral and E P Jayarajan (CPI-M) quit on nepotism charges.

Chandy, a three-time MLA of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), had been inducted into the cabinet 8 months ago following the resignation of A K Saseendran.

NCP had only two MLAs.

The resignation letter was handed over to the chief minister by NCP state President, T P Peethambaran Master, after consulting the matter with party’s national leadership.

Chandy, who left for Alappuzha, after attending the cabinet meeting, told a Malayalam television channel that even though the chief minister did not seek his resignation and there were no circumstances for the same, a coalition partner’s (CPI) “adamant” stand made the chief minister to ask him to “rethink.”

“The chief minister said we are not asking you to resign, but take a decision after consulting with your leadership,” Chandy said.

A businessman-turned politician, Chandy, had been facing heat since the past few days as allegations surfaced that his company had violated rules to construct a parking area and a road through a paddy field to his Lake Palace resort in Alappuzha district.