Kerala Transport Minister Thomas Chandy took charge as Kerala Transport Minister on April 1, 2017, a date that is also known as ”Fools Day”. In this case, the date coincided with the KSRTC’s anniversary. Months later, Thomas Chandy was at the center of controversies pertaining to his luxury resort and today he had to step down and resign. That he is a rich businessman has been a known fact. However, the numerous land law violations linked directly with his luxury resort shocked everyone and the reports caused considerable embarrassment for LDF. Yesterday the Kerala High Court slammed him for filing a writ petition against the state government in which he is a Minister.
In the last couple of days, several LDF leaders had spoken out against Thomas Chandy continuing as Transport Minister. CPI leader Pannyan Raveendran had openly stated that Thomas Chandy is not fit to continue as Minister with LDF. Veteran leader VS Achuthanandan had also spoken his mind clearly about Thomas Chandy’s exit as being necessary.
”If Thomas Chandy doesn’t resign, he will be made to resign,” VS Achuthanandan had reportedly said.
The Collector’s detailed report sealed Thomas Chandy’s political stint with the LDF. Some of these allegations came under scrutiny:
1. Government funds were misused for road building towards Thomas Chandy’s Lake Palace Resort.
2. Under the guise of agriculture, bunds were made and resort parking space was constructed illegally.
3. MP funds were used for Thomas Chandy’s resort Law Palace and discrepancies were found in the financial details related to the roads built.
4. The width of roads constructed violated land law provisions and the sole beneficiary turned out to be Chandy’s Lake Palace.
5. Once Lake Resort was constructed on a portion of what was classified as agricultural land, the people’s right of way in that area was obstructed, causing considerable inconvenience to them.
Adding fuel to fire, Thomas Chandy’s cheeky statement to reporters when asked about his resignation last week, ”I may consider after two years.”
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The timeline of events that led up to Thomas Chandy’s resignation shows that it is not merely the allegations that did him in but it is the manner in which he decided to file a writ against the government that forced him to step down today. It was the final straw which indicated, as the Kerala High Court observed, that Thomas Chandy had scripted his own disgraceful exit, causing major embarrassment to LDF.