KOCHI: On Monday Youth Congress held a march to the Chief Minister’s residence demanding the ouster of Minister Thomas Chandy. Come Tuesday, a Congress MP will appear in the Kerala High Court to defend the minister who is facing charges of encroachment of government land.
Sparking off yet another controversy, the Opposition Congress, which is up in arms against Transport Minister Thomas Chandy for his alleged encroachment of government land, is being pushed to the defensive as party’s Rajya Sabha member and senior Supreme Court lawyer Vivek Tankha will appear for the NCP Minister in the High Court on Tuesday.
Tankha has reached Kochi to appear before the court on Tuesday. The office of the advocate representing Chandy in the High Court confirmed that Tankha was engaged in the case and he will appear in the case to be considered on Tuesday. The new development has put the Congress state unit in an embarrassing situation as the Opposition party has been relentlessly conducting a campaign against the tainted minister alleging he had encroached government land.One of the main issues highlighted in ‘Padayorukkam’, the ongoing rally led by Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, is the Chandy issue.
State congress leaders have hit out against Vivek Tankha’s move. Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said he would request Mukul Wasnik, AICC general secretary in charge of the state, to ask Tankha not to appear on behalf of Chandy.
Former KPCC president V M Sudheeran said Vivek Tankha should have shown the political propriety not to be on the wrong side of an issue over which the party is waging a pitched battle.
Vivek Tankha, a Rajya Sabha member from Madhya Pradesh, was one of the youngest Advocate Generals of Madhya Pradesh and was designated Senior Advocate by the Full Court of the High Court in 1999. He was also the first lawyer from Madhya Pradesh to have been appointed Additional Solicitor General of India.
Earlier, another row had snowballed when Congress spokesperson and senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi appeared for ‘Lottery King’- Santiago Martin against the Congress-led state government in the lottery case. The Congress High Command had removed Singhvi from the post of spokesperson following the stiff opposition from state Congress leaders.
There are three petitions seeking action against Chandy in the alleged encroachment. Besides, a petition filed by Chandy against the report of the Alappuzha District Collector is also pending before the court.
He pointed out the findings of the Collector were in contravention of the findings of her predecessor who had settled the very same issues in 2014.
He alleged the Collector had misused her administrative discretion and “played to the gallery.”
The petitioner’s name was dragged unnecessarily, “presumably due to the conspiracy between those interested quarters and the Collector.” The Collector had not even verified the Revenue records before making such findings against him, stated Chandy’s petition.
V M Sudheeran criticises Vivek Tankha’s decision
Former KPCC chief V M Sudheeran has criticised Madhya Pradesh Congress MP Vivek Tankha’s decision to appear for Transport Minister Thomas Chandy in the High Court. Tankha who is a senior advocate in the Supreme Court should have shown the ‘’political propriety’’ not to appear for Chandy, he said. “As a professional lawyer, he is free to appear in various cases. But while coming to Kerala, he should have shown the political propriety to not argue on a topic on which the party is waging a pitched battle,” said Sudheeran.