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Life and times of Kerala political heavyweight Thomas Chandy: The key accused in Alappuzha land encroachment

With three Assembly elections to his credit, the public life of the political heavyweight from Kuttanad Thomas Chandy alias Kuwait Chandy was always disparate, albeit controversial.

Published: 15th November 2017 08:15 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th November 2017 08:18 PM   |  A+A-

Thomas Chandy addressing the media outside his residence in Kochi | Express Photo Service

Express News Service

KOCHI: With three Assembly elections to his credit, the public life of the political heavyweight from Kuttanad Thomas Chandy alias Kuwait Chandy was always disparate, albeit controversial.

One of his first tryst of this kind came in 2002 when the Kuwait First Instance Court told him to pay a fine of Kuwait Dinar 500 (Rs 50,000) as he and two other Keralites were found guilty in the misappropriation of a sum around Rs 42 crore from the Indian School at Salmia in Kuwait about two decades ago. 
 
Chandy, along with Mathew Philip - another accused, was arrested in Kuwait after the news broke. However, Chandy in a quick move secured a bail paying back KD 85,000 (about Rs 1.05 crore), part of the money reportedly shared by the trio while Philip had to languish in a Kuwait jail for more than two years. 
 
Just 14 days younger to Independent India, Chandy left the country to the Middle East after earning a diploma in Telecommunication Engineering and a stint in student politics. After establishing a business empire in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, consisting of institutions in education and hospitality, Chandy resurfaced in his water locked native as an active social worker liberally contributing to many social causes.
 
Chandy's bonhomie with late Congress leader K Karunakaran managed him to get a seat at his home turf as the candidate of  DIC(K)  as a part of the UDF  in 2006 and emerged as its lone MLA. He switched to LDF as the party was merged with NCP and ensured his way to Assembly as its candidate in the 2011 elections. He landed safely in 2016, despite a heavy campaigning from the NDA, to become the richest MLA in the assembly with assets of over Rs 92 crore.
  
He almost embarrassed the LDF with a statement prior to elections, that he will be the next minister for water resources. However, the party was denied the portfolio and, the second member Chandy, despite a section in party batted in his favor, a minister-ship.

Though the state head vowed there would not be any change in the cabinet, a controversial sleaze tape leaked by a TV Channel forced its party representative AK Saseendran to resign on March 26, 2017.

Chandy was swiftly sworn in as a transport minister on April 1. His first promise to his electorate that he would be present in the state six days a week as there was a complaint that he was ' missing' from the constituency.
 
Following allegations from August that Chandy's resort in Alappuzha has encroached land and paddy fields, the state government entrusted the district to initiate a probe. He chose to avoid the demand for his resignation from various corners including a section of LDF.

A beleaguered Chandy approached the Kerala High Court against the collector's report only to be reprimanded by it on Tuesday, a day before his resignation. 



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