Pinarayi to decide on seeking Thomas Chandy's resignation

Pinarayi to decide on seeking Thomas Chandy's resignation

The resignation of Kerala Transport Minister Thomas Chandy, who is facing allegations of land encroachment, appeared imminent on Sunday.

Chandy is in the line of fire over the alleged encroachment of land and backwaters for building supplementary amenities for a resort he owns in Alappuzha district.

After a crucial meeting of the ruling CPM-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) here, LDF convener Vaikom Viswan said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan would review the advocate general's counsel regarding the district collector's report and take an "appropriate decision".

As a consensus favouring Chandy's resignation emerged among allies in the LDF, Chandy's party the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) continued to back the beleaguered minister.

An NCP meeting scheduled on Tuesday is likely to arrive at the party's final decision.

Chandy has repeatedly denied the allegations. Speaking with reporters after the LDF meeting, he denied that there were calls for his resignation.

Pressure has been building on the ruling CPM after the Kerala High Court questioned the government's inaction and the "special status" accorded to the businessman-turned-politician while considering a PIL on the matter.

The NCP leadership, both state and national, maintained that a resignation was not required before the allegations were validated.

District Collector T V Anupama's report on the matter is learnt to have confirmed the encroachment for parking space and a road leading to the resort.

The Opposition Congress has targeted the CPM over its handling of the issue. The BJP is set to lay siege to the state secretariat here on Monday.

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