Fate of Kerala Minister hangs in balance after HC dismisses petition

Fate of Kerala Minister hangs in balance after HC dismisses petition

He was reacting to queries on the Kerala High Courts order today, dismissing his petition challenging the collectors report on alleged encroachments by a company in which he has a stake.

Amid mounting pressure on Chandy to step down, NCP Kerala president T P Peethambaran said the state unit would convey to the national leadership views on the issue and await its decision.

The Congress party in Kerala was put in an embarrassing spot after the party's senior Rajya Sabha member Vivek Tankha, a former Additional Solicitor General of India, appeared as counsel for state Transport Minister Thomas Chandy who is facing land grab allegations.

"It shows that you have no trust in your own government and chief minister", the bench said, observing it was "extremely improper" for a minister to file a petition against his own government.

Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala told reporters in Palakkad on Tuesday that it's surprising that while Vijayan was quick to get the resignation of his close aide E.P. Jayarajan and A.K. Saseendran, in Chandy's case that did not happen. The remarks made by court has no connection with the verdict. Chandy, a businessman-turned-politician, is NCP's only minister in the Cabinet.

Chandy is the Nationalist Congress Party nominee in the LDF ministry. The NCP had also been asked to take a stand on it, he said.

On the minister's contentions against the findings of the collector's report, the court pointed out that he should have taken up his grievances with the district collector itself instead of knocking on the doors of the high court.

A group of Youth Congress activists waved black flags at Tankha and shouted slogans just before he left for the Kerala High Court.

A company owned by Chandy allegedly violated the law to build a road through paddy fields to his resort in Alappuzha district.

Media reports also suggest that Mr. Chandy would leave for Delhi on Tuesday itself to call on the central leadership of the NCP to ensure their support in the wake of the HC rap putting a question mark over his position in the LDF cabinet.

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