KOCHI: Amidst the intensifying demand for resignation of Transport Minister Thomas Chandy, the NCP state executive meet held here on Tuesday concluded without unlocking the political impasse after the High Court rejected the minister’s petition challenging the Alappuzha District Collector’s report.“The meeting voiced a general sentiment. We will convey this to our central leadership and they will take a final call on the resignation of Thomas Chandy,” NCP state president T P Peethambaran Master said. However, Peethambaran Master said he could not share the general opinion of the meeting to the media.
“The High Court has not made any remarks accusing Chandy personally over the alleged land encroachment. The party stands with the minister. However, he will quit the post if the Chief Minister demands it,” he told reporters after the meeting.“The party executive committee is not the authority to take a decision regarding the nomination or resignation of the party’s representative from a government. It is vested with party’s Central Parliamentary Board,” said Peethambaran Master. According to him, the general opinion of the meeting will be discussed by the party state functionaries and will be conveyed to the central leadership.
As per reports, a majority of the party’s district presidents have expressed displeasure over Chandy continuing as minister after Alappuzha District Collector T V Anupama submitted a fact-finding report stating the resort owned by Chandy had illegally encroached upon land. The meeting witnessed tense moments after many leaders voiced their dissent. Leaders associated with A K Saseendran were of the opinion the controversy over the encroachment by the party’s minister had maligned the image of the LDF Government and the party as well. However, Chandy’s aides failed to defend the allegations and this led to heated arguments. However, leaders intervened and managed the situation by winding up the meet within two hours.
While A K Saseendran was present at the meeting, Thomas Chandy stayed away from it. According to the party leaders, Chandy was entrusted with some official assignments and was given permission to abstain from the key meeting. The NCP, which has two members in the Legislative Assembly, is making an all-out effort to protect the beleaguered minister as the majority of the leaders fear they will lose the Cabinet berth if Chandy exits. Earlier, A K Saseendran had resigned from the minister post following the alleged sleaze talk row. NCP national leader Praful Patel will attend a party meet soon, said party leaders.
Chandy’s counsel: KPCC approaches high command
T’Puram: KPCC has formally registered its protest with the party high command over the appearance of Congress MP Vivek Tankha as Transport Minister Thomas Chandy’s counsel in High Court. The high command has been urged to prevail over Tankha’s decision, KPCC president M M Hassan said. Hassan urged Tankha not to appear for Chandy as the party is on an agitation course seeking Chandy’s resignation. However, Tankha said he had appeared for Chandy on account of his personal relationship.
After studying the implications of the High Court order, we will take appropriate action in the next few days. The NCP wishes to reiterate we maintain the highest probity in our conduct in public life. A meeting of the NCP state executive committee and discussions with the Chief Minister and the LDF leadership will take place in the coming days Praful Patel, NCP national general secretary