Land grab case: Tainted Kerala Minister Thomas Chandy resigns

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    Tainted Kerala Minister Thomas Chandy on Wednesday resigned after facing charges of land encroachment.

    Thomas Chandy

    Chandy's resignation letter was handed over to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan by Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) state secretary Peethambaran Master.

    Chandy was forced to resign from his office after High Court rejected his petition or quashing the Alappuzha district collector's report which alleged large-scale land grab by him to build a luxurious resort.

    He is NCP's third minister from the Pinarayi Vijayan cabinet who has been forced to resign. While CPI (M) heavyweight EP Jayarajan was forced to resign in October 2016 as the Industries and Sports Minister following allegations of nepotism. In March 2017, AK Saseendran, NCP member and Transport Minister was forced to quit after a tape with sexual conversation surfaced. Thomas Chandy had replaced Saseendran in the cabinet.

    Chandy, who also runs a five star resort in Alapuzha the heartland of back water tourism in the state had allegedly encroached the water body for his resorts and constructed road through paddy fields illegally.

    Alappuzha district collector TV Anupama had submitted a report to Revenue Principal Secretary PH Kurian in August.

    The report stated that portions of Marthandam Lake had been leveled for building the Minister's Lake Palace Resort. The report has also said that a paddy field was levelled to build a parking lot for the resort.

    The CPI was under tremendous pressure for the resignation of the NCP leader, who is facing charges of land encroachment after the High Court dismissed his petition against Alappuzha District Collector's report on land encroachment.

    Chandy met CM Vijayan at the latter's official Cliff House residence in Thiruvananthapuram this morning that lasted for 40 minutes.

    The Kerala High Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition by Transport Minister Thomas Chandy challenging a report by the Alappuzha Collector on the alleged encroachments by a company in which he has a stake.

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