Kerala Transport Minister Thomas Chandy was on Tuesday nudged closer to what appeared to be imminent resignation after the high court questioned his decision to challenge a district collectors report which validated allegations of land encroachment against him. A division bench of judges P N Ravindran and Devan Ramachandran rejected Chandys writ petition in this connection and observed that the ministers move was in conflict with the collective responsibility entrusted with the Cabinet.
The state unit of Chandys party, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), has asked its central leadership to decide on Chandys future in the CPM-led Left Democratic Front government. Chandy, a businessman-turned-politician, is NCPs only minister in the Cabinet. The bench pointed out the incongruity in a minister moving the court against the order of an official who represents the government he himself is part of.
Chandy had approached the court against Alappuzha District Collector T V Anupamas report which confirmed allegations of land encroachment and backwater reclamation for a resort the minister owns. The court said the minister could approach the collector with his grievances regarding her report. Amid mounting pressure on Chandy to step down, NCP Kerala president T P Peethambaran said the state unit would convey to the national leadership views on the issue and await its decision.