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Minister quits over Munnar land scam

Mired in the Munnar land scam, Kerala Public Works Department (PWD) Minister TU Kuruvilla resigned from his post on Sunday, reports Ramesh Babu.

india Updated: Sep 03, 2007 03:02 IST

Mired in the Munnar land scam, Kerala Public Works Department (PWD) Minister T.U. Kuruvilla resigned from his post on Sunday.

He is the second minister to quit the 16-month-old V.S. Achuthanandan government.

The lone Kerala Congress (Joseph) nominee, Kuruvilla had joined the cabinet a year ago, following the resignation of the party chief P.J. Joseph. The latter had quit over his alleged involvement in an attempt to outrage the modesty of a woman passenger aboard a Chennai-Thiruvananthapuram flight.

“The party has decided to accept his resignation which will be forwarded to the chief minister on Monday. The new minister and other details would be
discussed at the next meeting of the party executive on September 15,” party president P.J. Joseph said in Thodupuzha (Idukki district).

Kuruvilla’s name has been mired in controversy ever since a Kuwait-based nonresident Indian accused the minister of cheating him in a land deal in the hill resort of Munnar.

K.G. Abraham, managing director of a Kuwait-based firm, alleged that the minister’s son and two daughters had signed a contract with him to purchase land in Munnar and accepted

Rs 6.7 crore from him. Later, the minister refused to either return over the money or return the land, the NRI complained.

Joseph, however, said the Kerala Congress (J) would remain

a part of the Left Democratic Front (LDF). The party has four members in the 140-member House.

“We have some differences with the LDF, but there is no plan to leave the ruling front,” he said, protesting the LDF’s open stand against the minister. Last week, the LDF had recommended judicial inquiry against the minister.

First Published: Sep 03, 2007 02:56 IST