The Kuttanad MLA appeared confident of turning around KSRTC’s finances.

NCP names Thomas Chandy as Transport Minister LDF is yet to take a final callSreekesh Raveendran Nair
news Politics Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - 17:32

The Nationalist Congress Party on Tuesday announced Kuttanad MLA Thomas Chandy’s name to retain its lone ministerial post in the Left Democratic Front government.

This comes two days after senior party leader Saseendran stepped down as Transport Minister following newly launched Malayalam channel Mangalam broadcasting audio clips of an explicit conversation allegedly between him and a woman. As an interim arrangement, the transport portfolio is being handled by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. NCP has two MLAs in the Kerala Assembly - Saseendran and Chandy.

As per his 2016 election affidavit, Thomas Chandy, who represents Kuttanad constituency is the richest Kerala legislator. With business ventures in the Middle East, the billionaire is known as Kuwait Chandy. 63-year-old Chandy was reportedly overwhelmed following the party’s decision to name him as Transport Minister. It was Saseendran who announced Chandy’s name at the party meeting held at the MLA hostel.

Speaking to the media Chandy appeared confident of turning around the finances of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), which has been hit by a fund crunch.  “I don’t claim that I would make the KSRTC profitable. But I would carry out reforms to ensure the department breaks even,” said the three-time legislator. Reacting to why the NCP did not file a complaint against Mangalam, Chandy said that the party would have done so if the government hadn’t announced a judicial probe into the matter.

Reports on Monday suggested that CPI (M)’s national leadership is against inducting Chandy into the state cabinet owing to corruption allegations against him. When it was pointed Saseendran and NCP state president Uzhavoor Vijayan were confident to respond that such reports were baseless. However a source said that NCP President Sharad Pawar’s choice for Transport Minister was Chandy even when the LDF came to power in 2016. “At that time, it didn’t work out as Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan opposed his name. Now it remains to be seen whether the CM will succumb to pressure from his party colleagues,” a source told TNM. The LDF is expected to take a decision on Chandy’s nomination soon.



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