A meeting of the Nationalist Congress Party's state executive will be held here tomorrow amid mounting pressure on party nominee in the LDF government, Transport Minister Thomas Chandy, to quit over allegations of land encroachments by his lake resort in Alappuzha district. Though the state leadership of NCP sought to downplay significance of the meeting, saying it was planned a month ago to discuss organisational matters, party insiders said Chandy issue will be discussed in the 100-member executive committee, particularly in view of its souring relations with LDF partner CPI over the issue. Following reports that CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran had strongly pressed for Chandy's resignation at the LDF meeting held in Thiruvananthapuram yesterday, the NCP today hit out at the Left party, a key partner in the alliance, saying its stand on many issues has put the CPI(M)- led government in trouble. "CPI airs different views on all issues..
We can't say that it is anti-government but enemies are beneficiaries of their stand on many issues," NCP state President T P Peethambaran Master told reporters here. The NCP, which has only two members in the state Assembly, is making an all out effort to protect its nominee in the government. Master said the authority to take decision on any matters including nominating or quitting of its nominee from a government is vested with the party's central parliamentary board. The party is of the view that a final decision on the issue shall be based on the High Court's decision on Chandy's petition seeking to quash the Alappuzha district collector's report on the alleged encroachment of paddy fields for a resort owned by the minister. The CPI(M)-led LDF had yesterday decided to entrust Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan with taking an appropriate decision on whether Chandy should continue as the transport minister. Advocate General, C P Sudhakara Prasad, had recently informed the Kerala government that the Alappuzha collector's report on the alleged encroachment of land for a resort owned by Chandy was legally binding and that its findings could not be ignored. The government had sought the AG's legal opinion on the matter after getting the report from Collector T V Anupama, wherein she had confirmedthat a paddy field had been reclaimed for laying a road to the lake resort. Chandy had also allegedly encroached on the backwaters in order to construct a parking space for the resort, according to the collector's report. Chandy became a minister eight months ago, following the resignation of his party colleague A K Saseendran from the state cabinet over the issue of alleged sleaze talk with a woman.
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