Kerala CM defends cabinet colleague against opposition allegations

Thiruvananthapuram, (IANS) Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday strongly defended state Transport Minister Thomas Chandy against accusations of wrongdoing related to a plush resort he owns and backed a Left-supported independent legislator against allegations of large scale violations in a water theme park owned by him.

Vijayan was responding to a notice in the state assembly given for an adjournment motion moved by Congress legislator V.T. Balram.

“There has been no violation of any kind in the Lake Palace Resort owned by Thomas Chandy in Alappuzha, and with regard to the water theme park (in Kozhikode district) owned by P.V. Anwar that was opened recently. These allegations have been raised because the opposition is suffering from lack of other issues to be raked up, as the state government is doing a clean job. This government will show no mercy to any one who breaks the rule of the land, irrespective of who they are and what they are and this has been seen by people here,” said Vijayan.

Thomas Chandy, NCP leader, challenged the opposition that if they are able to prove that he has usurped one cent of land, he will quit public life.

“I toiled hard in the Middle East for 40 years and with that money I opened this resort 13 years back. I have invested about Rs 150 crore and I employ 240 people. Till this day I have not made any profit and I am incurring a loss of Rs five million every year. I also took the initiative to build a road, which is beneficial for the local populace, whose only means of transport to the main land hitherto was via water. I invite a delegation of the opposition to come to my resort to see for themselves, that I am speaking only the truth,” said Chandy.

Anwar said he began his political career in the Congress and later moved away from the party.

“Ever since I won from the Nilambur constituency in 2016, Aryadan Mohammed, the towering Congress leader and a former minister and his son have been against me and are coming out with various baseless allegations. The place where the water theme park is located is ruled by the Congress-led local body, which has given the license. No violations have taken place and I am being targeted by Aryadan’s family. Earlier, about 400 families had left the place after the failure of arecanut farming. Maximum number of pig and chicken farms are located there as the land price is very cheap, as people have deserted the area. Now this park provides direct and indirect employment to the local populace,” said Anwar.

Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala however said that the Vijayan government after coming to power has forgotten the hopes and aspirations of the weaker sections of society and is riding with the cash-rich.

“Our demand is straight – that the need of the hour is a proper probe by an agency, and once that is done the truth will surface. The Chief Minister says one thing and does the opposite. He is turning a blind eye to the various points that have surfaced against the resort and the water theme park, and is fully supporting them and not the truth,” said Chennithala, and walked out of the House with the opposition protesting that their demand for taking up the motion was rejected by the Speaker.

Medaram Jathara

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