Allegedly, a company owned by Chandy constructed a road, through paddy fields, to a lake resort in Alappuzha district.
Following land-grab charges leveled against Kerala minister Thomas Chandy, the millionaire-turned-businessman resigned from the post of the state’s transport minister on Wednesday. Chandy’s decision came a day after the Kerala High Court questioned his continuance in the state government, lashing out at him over the charges.
However, after declaring his resignation, Chandy claimed that he is innocent and said, “These are all trumped up charges. I will come out clean.” Reportedly, the minister agreed to resign only after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan promised to bring him back to the state cabinet after he is acquitted by the court.
Allegedly, a company owned by the accused minister constructed a road, through paddy fields, to a lake resort in Alappuzha district. Last week, following a report submitted against Chandy by the Alappuzha district collector, a vigilance court had ordered a probe into the matter. However, Chandy claimed he was innocent, saying that the resort was built 13 years ago and there is no point raising allegations now.
Chandy – who is the third minister to quit after Pinarayi Vijayan came to power in Kerala – asserted that he will move the Supreme Court, if not acquitted. The minister also confirmed that he will return to the ministry soon after getting a favorable verdict.
Despite mounting pressure from the allies of the ruling CPI(M) – who questioned Chandy’s continuance in the ministry – veteran leaders like VS Achuthanandan and CM Vijayan continued backing the accused minister. Furthermore, following his resignation, four ministers of the party boycotted the cabinet, stating the step taken by Chandy is unusual.
Though the CPI government came to power with public rage on the corruptions during the Congress regime, the present government’s ministers also got accused in several cases. With several land grab charges leveled against him, Chandy was inducted in the Pinarayi Vijayan government after the resignation of former minister AK Saseendran – who was accused in a telephone sleaze scandal involving a woman journalist.