Chorus grows within LDF for Kerala minister Thomas Chandy’s exit
Bengaluru: A section of communist leaders in Kerala is openly calling for the exit of Thomas Chandy, Kerala’s transport minister and the richest member in the cabinet, over allegations of land encroachment and environmental violations, while chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan continues to remain silent on the matter.
On Monday, Pannyan Raveendran, a senior leader of Communist Party of India (CPI), the second largest constituent within the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF), demanded Chandy’s resignation at a public meeting. CPI has been taking a strong stand against Chandy ever since a governmental probe in October found that a lake-side resort run by him in a pristine location in Alappuzha district may have potentially violated environmental laws and encroached upon government land. But this is the first time they are raising the resignation demand at a public forum.
V.S. Achuthanandan, the seniormost leader of Vijayan’s Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPM, also came out with a strongly worded statement against the minister on Monday. “Chandy should be thrown out of the cabinet if he refuses to step down on his own,” Achuthanandan said.
Chandy, a leader of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), an ally of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala, has denied all allegations. He has also moved a contempt of court petition in the high court against the official probe report which found him guilty, arguing the report demeans the court as he is already battling a public interest litigation on the same matter in the court