Thiruvananthapuram : Kerala Transport Minister Thomas Chandy resigned on Wednesday, a day after the Kerala High Court on Tuesday dismissed Chandy's Petition challenging the report of the Alapuzha district collector, which had found that large scale violations of Kerala Land Consevation Act and Conservation of Paddy land and Wetland Act had been committed by the luxury lake resort owned by Chandy. He is the third minister to leave the Left Democratic Front (LDF) led government in Kerala in the last 17 months. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said Chandy’s party, the Nationalist Congress Party(NCP) , has asked for more time to decide on the issue. “The leaders and ministers of NCP have asked for more time to disccuss the issue with national leadership. I can’t decline their request and they will inform me the decision after the meeting. CM said on Wednesday morning. Earlier on Wednesday, CPI, a key constituent of the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala, boycotted the cabinet meeting where embattled transport minister Thomas Chandy was also likely to be present. Chandy's party the NCP has said the minister will stay out of the cabinet temporarily and if he receives a positive order from Supreme Court he has to be given back the portfolio. Then the CPI wanted immediate resignation of Chandy. Chandy on Wednesday morning met the chief minister at the latter's official residence and the meeting lasted for nearly 40 minutes.
The controversy over Thomas Chandy's alleged land grab surfaced after Alappuzha District Collector TV Anupama submitted a report in August saying that portions of the Marthandam lake had been usurped for building the minister's plush Lake Palace Resort, besides a paddy field was levelled for a parking lot for the resort. The Congress party in Kerala was put in an embarrassing spot after the party's senior Rajya Sabha member Vivek Tankha, a former Additional Solicitor General of India, appeared as counsel for Chandy. Chandy had become a minister only eight months ago, following the resignation of his party colleague, AK Saseendran, from the state cabinet over the issue of an alleged sleaze talk with a woman.