Embarrassment for Congress as party member represents tainted Kerala Minister

Sergio Conner
November 14, 2017

Chandy's company allegedly violated the Kerala Land Conservancy Act and Kerala Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland Act while building the road, an earlier petition had alleged.

The division bench of the court of Justice P.N. Ravindran and Justice Devan Ramachandran came down heavily on Chandy and observed that it was very odd what a state Minister has filed a petition against the state government "which questions the failure of the collective responsibility of the cabinet".

Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said an appropriate decision would be taken at the right time after examining the high court order and the NCPs decision.

The NCP executive meet here today discussed the matter and chose to inform the national leadership about its decision on it.

"We can not disclose our decision to media", he told reporters.

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It is based on the principle of collective responsibility that the entire cabinet resigns even if a no-confidence motion is passed against a single minister, the court pointed out.

According to reports in the media, it is in this context that the minister is mulling over moving the supreme court. Despite the state Congress' attempts to stall Tankha through AICC intervention, he appeared for Chandy on Tuesday, after facing a protest by Youth Congress workers.

NCP state acting president T.P. Peethamabaran said a decision on Chandy would be taken by the NCP parliamentary board. A minister approaching the high court against his own government is unheard of and it means that the minister has lost his trust in the government and the chief minister, the bench commented. "Vijayan appears to have stumbled before the "cash rich" Chandy and Vijayan is also now an accused like Chandy as he has failed to ask for his resignation", said Sudheeran.

Media reports also suggest that Mr. Chandy would leave for Delhi on Tuesday itself to call on the central leadership of the NCP to ensure their support in the wake of the HC rap putting a question mark over his position in the LDF cabinet. Chandy had approached the court against Alappuzha District Collector T V Anupama's report which confirmed allegations of land encroachment and backwater reclamation for a resort the minister owns.

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