Third Minister to enter the list of Cabinet members leaving the Pinarayi Cabinet could be Transport Minister Thomas Chandy who was knocked by the High Court in connection with allegations of land encroachment against him. Chandy who is the only NCP minister in the CPM-led government is presently fighting against charges of violating wetland rules by allegedly encroaching a section of the Marthandam Lake to construct facilities for a resort that he owns with a relative.
Chandy’s party the NCP has said the minister will stay out of the cabinet temporarily and if he receives a positive order from Supreme Court he has to be given back the portfolio while CPI(M) wanted immediate resignation of Chandy.
Alapuzha Collector T V Anupama had affirmed that the approach roads and parking facilities were constructed by illegally encroaching on land.
The minister moved to Kerala High Court for help. but HC had some sharp words for Chandy and asked him how a minister file a petition against the government. The court said the case should have been filed by the Chief Secretary.
In a cabinet that has collective responsibility, without taking the Chief Minister into confidence approaching against a district collector’s report is a classic case of disqualification… Are you saying that the court should protect you?Kerala High Court
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.
Though member of CPI(M) urged for Chandy’s resignation , CM Pinarayi Vijayan maintained silence over the matter. As far as now NCP stands wth their lone representative in the cabinet, refusing to press for Chandy’s resignation.
Chandy’s predecessor, AK Saseendran, also had to resign after allegations of misconduct with a woman surfaced against him.