Though he has been caught amidst a mountain of allegations, Kerala’s Transport Minister Thomas Chandy remains unfazed. The minister has challenged investigative officers and said that no one can raise even their small finger against him.
The minister was attending the CPI (M)'s Jana Jagratha Yathra in Alappuzha when he made the comment. He said that even Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala could not prove the allegation that his resort had encroached into a lake in Alappuzha.
“If the opposition can prove that I have encroached the lake I will resign as both MLA and minister and sit at home . I challenge them, but they are not ready to take up the challenge,” he said.
However, indirectly opposing Chandy’s challenge, Communist Party of India (CPI) State Secretary Kanam Rajendran who shared the dais said that Jana Jagratha Yathra was not organised to raise any challenge or defend any person.
Some of the media reports said that Chandy’s challenge was also a dig at CPI, the CPI (M)'s ally. CPI leaders have openly spoken against Chandy before. During the yathra, Kanam Rajendran was otherwise tight lipped at the provocations, and only retaliated with one line.
Alappuzha District Collector Anupama had recently submitted a report to Revenue Principal Secretary PH Kurian against Chandy which states that portions of Marthandam Lake in Alappuzha had been leveled for building the Lake Palace Resort for the Minister. The report has also said that a paddy field had also been levelled to build a parking lot for the resort. The report recommended action against the officials who had aided the Minister by violating the Kerala Paddy Land and Wetland Act, for building and paving a road for the resort.