The Kerala BJP today urged Governor P Sathasivam to disqualify Transport Minister Thomas Chandy, who is facing allegations of land encroachment for a resort owned by him in Alappuzha. BJP MLA O Rajagopal and state party chief Kummanam Rajasekharan submitted a petition to the governor at the Raj Bhavan here in this regard. In the petition, the saffron party alleged that Chandy had amassed huge undisclosed assets through “benami” and unaccounted transactions, which had not come to the notice of the authorities concerned. They urged the governor to disqualify Chandy as a member of the state Assembly and restrain him from functioning as an MLA and a minister in the state cabinet. The BJP leaders alleged that Chandy had not disclosed assets registered in the name of his wife and other dependents in an affidavit submitted before the Election Commission (EC).
The minister had “deliberately and intentionally suppressed” the facts related to his assets and was “guilty of the offence under section 177, IPC (furnishing false information) and liable to be punished with simple imprisonment of six months or with a fine of up to Rs 1,000”, the petition said. Along with the petition, a set of documents related to the assets of the minister was also submitted to the governor, the BJP leaders informed.
The development came on a day when a crucial meeting of the ruling CPI(M)-led LDF in Kerala was on at the AKG Centre here to discuss the issue involving Chandy. State Advocate General (AG) C P Sudhakara Prasad had recently told the Kerala government that the Alappuzha collector’s report on the alleged encroachment of land for a resort owned by Chandy was legally binding and that its findings could not be ignored.
The government had sought the AG’s legal opinion on the matter after getting the report from Collector TV Anupama. According to some media reports, there were allegations that a paddy field was filled to construct a road leading to the resort owned by Chandy. The minister had also allegedly encroached on the backwaters for constructing a parking space, according to the collector’s report.