Kochi: It is for the 'bourgeoisies' to decide if Kerala transport minister Thomas Chandy should step down, veteran CPM leader V.S. Achuthanandan has said
Reacting to the minister's statement that he need not step down over encroachment allegations, Administrative Reforms Commission chairman said: "People who support him may not find anything wrong with encroachment. Let the bourgeoisies decide if he should continue as the minister."
Interestingly, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan is yet to comment on the issue.
However, strongly refuting the allegations that he had encroached on the backwater, Chandy on Saturday reiterated that he would not step down.
"Did not encroach on backwaters, earth was deposited only on land. I own 3 acres and 10 cents, and the construction was on 1 acre," Chandy told reporters.
"No one can prove the allegations of encroachment. I will not step down merely on the basis of allegations. The conspirators are not in the party or in the Left front," he retorted, saying that he would name the conspirators in court.
Chandy had said earlier he would not quit unless the CM asked him to do so.
On the missing files related to his land documents at the Alappuzha municipality, the minister said it was not his job to safeguard documents in a government office.
On Friday, the Alappuzha Municipal Council had decided to cancel tax concessions granted to a tourist resort owned by the minister.
Also, Alappuzha district collector T.V. Anupama submitted a preliminary report to revenue minister E Chandrasekharan on encroachment allegations against Chandy.
An urgent Council meeting quashed the tax concession for the Lake Palace resort situated at Kuttanad in Alappuzha district from 2004.
It decided to ask him to repay the concession amount he received till date. The council also suspended four municipal officials over the disappearance of files related to his land documents from the office.
Chandy has been under attack from the Congress-led UDF Opposition ever since the allegations came up.
He had said in the state assembly that he would quit public life if the charges were proved right.
Chandy, a businessman-turned-politician representing Kuttanad in the state assembly, is the NCP nominee in the CPM-led LDF ministry headed by chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
He became a minister in April following resignation of A.K. Saseendran, also from the NCP, after a purported audio clip of him speaking in sexual undertones to a woman emerged.
(With the inputs from PTI)