Controversy rages over the alleged land grab by Kerala Transport Minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Thomas Chandy. While NCP state leadership is divided on the issue, the party's youth wing has called for an impartial inquiry into the land scam.
Thomas Chandy took over as minister only a few months back succeeding A.K. Sasindran who had to step down following a sex scandal. Chandy the multi-millionaire running his own business in Kuwait, was the unanimous choice for ministership. But now Chandy is the target of attack from within his party and outside over the alleged unauthorised land grab. About 50 acres of land at Punnamadakayal in front of the Lake Palace Hotel at Kuttanad, owned by Thomas Chandy, is alleged to have been annexed to the hotel property. Being kayal (backwaters), the land belonged to the government. No payment has been made to the government for the land or no sanction obtained.
Some time back when fishermen were prevented by the hotel authorities from entering the kayal in front of Lake Palace, the CPM youth wing DYFI had launched an agitation. But the agitation fizzled out in due course.Now Congress leadership in Alleppey district have threatened to launch an agitation against the Minister's land grab. Said Congress leader M.Liju, ''We are launching an indefinite agitation".
The state government however is yet to enquire into alleged land grab by the minister. Fisheries Minister Mercykutty Amma said, "The government cannot interfere if the land belongs to a private individual". She expressed the view that her cabinet colleague Thomas Chandy would not indulge in such illegal practices.