Thomas Chandy resignation: A timeline of events that led to the minister quitting the Kerala Cabinet

The businessman-turned-politician, who is also the wealthiest man in the Kerala Assembly, was under attack for the past one month from the opposition over charges of alleged land and lake encroachment

Published: 15th November 2017 10:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th November 2017 10:01 PM   |  A+A-

Kerala Transport Minister Thomas Chandy. | Express File Photo

By Online Desk

Kerala Transport Minister Thomas Chandy, who is facing land encroachment allegations, today resigned from the CPI(M)-led LDF government headed by Pinarayi Vijayan.

The businessman-turned-politician, who is also the wealthiest man in the Kerala Assembly, was under attack for the past one month from the opposition over charges of alleged land and lake encroachment by his luxury resort in Kuttanad in Alappuzha district.

Here is a timeline of events that lead to the NCP leader's' resignation from the left cabinet.

April 2017: Kuttanad MLA Thomas Chandy replaced AK Saseendran of his party in the Kerala cabinet, following a sexual harassment allegation against the latter.

August 2017: Based on a Malayalam media report, the Harbour engineering department and Revenue department launched an investigation against Chandy for alleged land and lake encroachments. According to the allegations, Marthandam backwaters near his hotel had been reclaimed for a parking area and a road had been constructed through a paddy field to the resort.

Revenue Minister E Chandrasekharan told the media that no encroachment has taken place in the last 15 months after the government came to power.

September 2017: Chandy refutes all charges levelled against him, expressing confidence in the report being prepared by the district collector.

October 2017: District Collector of Alappuzha, TV Anupama, submitted her report, accusing the Minister of violation of the Kerala Land Conservation Act and Conservation of Paddy land and Wetland Act.

Kerala government sought legal advice from the Advocate General regarding the report submitted by the Collector.

5 November, 2017: Investigation against Thomas Chandy's "Lake Palace Resort" is launched for alleged land-law
violations as ordered by the Kottayam Vigilance Court.

8 November, 2017: State government criticised by the Kerala High Court for not properly addressing the charges.

9 November, 2017: Thomas Chandy moves the High Court against the report submitted by the Alappuzha Collector. He is defended by senior Supreme Court lawyer and Congress Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Tankha.

11 November, 2017: TV Anupama's findings are found legitimate by the Advocate General, confirming that Chandy did encroach land.

14 November, 2017: A division bench of the High Court hearing Chandy's appeal to quash the Alappuzha district
collector's report slammed him in strong words for his decision to approach the court against his own government.

Chandy expressed his willingness to stay away if chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan asks him to do so.

The NCP state meeting ended in favour of the minister stepping down in the wake of the High Court remarks.

15 November, 2017: The CPI ministers skip the Cabinet meeting, declaring that they don't want to share a stage with Thomas Chandy.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told the media that the matter of Chandy's resignation was not discussed at the meeting. He also dismissed criticism that he was giving undue time to Chandy to take a decision on the matter.

Ending days of speculation, Thomas Chandy quits, becoming the third member of the 18-month-old LDF government to resign.


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