Kerala: UDF demands registration of case against minister Thomas Chandy
Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 25:Over the allegations against Transport Minister Thomas Chandy of encroachment of backwaters in Kuttanad in Alappuzha district, the Congress-led UDF Opposition in Kerala on Monday demanded that a case be registered against him.
In a letter to State Revenue Minister E Chandrasekharan, Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, Ramesh Chennithala said it was learnt that Alappuzha district collector had submitted a report to the state government stating that Chandy had encroached vast stretches of lands including wetlands in violation of Kerala Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland Act, 2008.
Based on the report, necessary steps should be taken to prosecute Chandy, under section 12 (1) of the Act, before the Alappuzha Chief Magistrate Court, Chennithala said in the letter.
Delaying action against Chandy could be seen only as a challenge to the law of land, he alleged.
It was also learnt that Collector's report also stated that parking space for the Lake Palace Resort, of the Water World Company owned by Chandy, by encroaching backwaters.
However, Chandy, a businessman-turned-politician of Nationalist Congress Party, has denied the charges. Chandy, representing Kuttand in Alappuzha district in the state assembly, has been under attack from the Congress-led UDF and BJP ever since the allegations of encroachments surfaced.
Alappuzha District Collector T V Anupama had on September 22 submitted a preliminary report to state Revenue Minister E Chandrasekharan in this regard. Chandy was sworn in as the minister in April, replacing party nominee A K Saseendran, who had quit the cabinet after a purported audio clip of him speaking in sexual undertones to a woman emerged.