With the Alappuzha district collector in her report indicting Kerala Transport Minister Thomas Chandy of land grab around his plush resort at Alappuzha and the opposition Congress and BJP demanding his ouster, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will have to take a call on the issue.
While Vijayan has all along being strongly defending Chandy both inside and outside the Assembly, the issue is set to figure before Vijayan and his cabinet on Wednesday.
On Monday night, Alappuzha Collector T.V. Anupama handed over her report to state Revenue Minister E. Chandrasekheran, who is one of the four CPI nominees in the Vijayan cabinet.
While the contents of the report are yet to be made public, according to reliable sources, Anupama has recommended strong action against officials who have remained “mute witness to the violations” that have taken place in the resort located around Marthandam Lake.
The Communist Party of India has now left it to Vijayan to take a decision.
State Congress president M.M. Hassan has been demanding tough action against Chandy including his ouster, while Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala visited the site and has also demanded that Chandy quit or Vijayan should remove him from the post.
State BJP president Kummanem Rajasekheran has also visited the place and called for Chandy’s ouster.
However, Vijayan has strongly defended Chandy, first on the floor of the Assembly and last week he said he stands by what he said in the Assembly.
Chandy, who has all along been saying he has done no wrong, is now trying to wriggle out by approaching the court and expects to stall any immediate action by getting a favourable order.
However, the Congress-led UDF has been recounting that in the previous Left government (2006-11) under V.S. Achuthanandan, in a similar case of usurping of land the then State PWD Minister T.U. Kuruvilla had quit as Minister.
But CPI-M State Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan told reporters on Tuesday that the state government has already begun to look into the issue and appropriate steps would be taken.
“Last year, our own CPI-M Minister E.P. Jayarajan quit as Minister after reports surfaced against him. Then it was his decision to quit and was done to uphold the dignity of the party,” said Balakrishnan.