Records show that Kerala Transport Minister Thomas Chandy has not only grabbed land but has also been caught lying.
When Pinarayi Vijayan assumed power in Kerala, he promised a clean government. That image has been getting a beating. But the latest is a shameful blow. Transport Minister Thomas Chandy has not only grabbed land in scenic Alappuzha for his sprawling Lake Palace Resort but also has been caught hiding vital information from the Election Commission.
Records produced by a TV channel show that Chandy violated environment rules by reclaiming a portion of the Marthandam lake and misused public money for the construction of a road up to his resort.
He first applied for constructing a small road, then converted it into parking lot for his sprawling resort.
When the matter figured in the State Assembly, Chandy claimed that he had done no wrong and that he had pumped in `hard-earned money’ form Kuwait to build the resort. He said he would resign from his ministership and also as MLA.
Denying all allegations, the Transport Minister dared the Opposition to come up with proof of any wrongdoing on his part. “I am ready to quit public life if they provide evidence,” he said.
Chandy said he had invested Rs. 150 crore on the resort that employed 240 people. He claimed that the local residents had benefited from the road that provided direct access to the mainland.
A day after the minister threw the challenge, records show that Chandy had not declared the Lake Palace Resort or the Rs. 150 crore in his affidavit filed before the Election Commission before the polls.
If this is proved right, Chandy may face criminal case and prosecution. And his election would be struck down by the Election Commission.
But Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who promised to bring a clean government, refused to take action. Pinarayi is probably too scared to take action against a money bag like Chandy who belongs to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
The Chief Minister turned a blind eye to all this saying the government had not come against any violation by the Lake Palace resort in Alappuzha. Has he not come across any violations or he refuses to see the truth?
Not just Chandy, but CPM lawmaker PV Anvar too is in trouble. Allegations are that he had misused his political influence for the unauthorised construction of a check-dam and ropeway. The project was implemented without the mandatory clearance from the local body, Fire and Rescue Services Department, or the Pollution Control Board.
But Anvar said he had secured all the necessary licences and permits for the construction of the theme park. The project, he said, had provided employment to the local people who were struggling to make both ends meet following the failure of areca nut farming.
Pinarayi began well, but now many see him as a weak Chief Minister shielding the corrupt and guilty. When will the Chief Minister learn to act?