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Thomas Chandy says won't quit over HC remarks, to meet Pinarayi today

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'Tainted' Kerala minister Thomas Chandy resigns

Kochi: The Kerala high court on Tuesday dismissed transport minister Thomas Chandy's petition against Alappuzha district collector's report on the Lake Palace row after noting that a cabinet minister approaching a court against the state government goes against the constitutional principle of collective responsibility of the cabinet.

Vijayan had come under fire from several quarters for protecting Chandy, much against the wishes of the other allies of the Left Front government. Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala said the verdict leaves no option for Chandy but to quit.

Following the HC verdict, the chief minister finally ended his silence on the Chandy issue, telling mediapersons Tuesday that he would take the right decision on the issue at an appropriate time. "Vijayan appears to have stumbled before the "cash rich" Chandy and Vijayan is also now an accused like Chandy as he has failed to ask for his resignation", said Sudheeran.

Chandy's cabinet colleagues, Communist leaders and leaders of own Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have asked him to step down.

NCP state leadership on Tuesday chose to leave the decision on the demand for Chandy's decision to the party's parliamentary board.

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A division bench of the court severely criticized the minister for such a move, saying that he can not approach the court as a minister and a common man at the same time. He would have talks with CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan also.

The state unit of NCP has sought the opinion of its national leadership, state president T.P. Peethambaran told reporters.

Mr. Vijayan has received flak for his alleged kid-glove treatment of Chandy despite Alappuzha district collector submitting a report to the government confirming that the minister illegally reclaimed revenue land to construct an approach road and a parking lot for the resort owned by him.

"We stand behind Chandy, but the final decision rests with the Chief Minister", said Peethamabaran.

Mr Vijayan said the LDF had earlier chose to entrust him to take an appropriate decision on the matter after looking into all aspects. He dismissed the question on why he appeared for a political opponent.

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