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Land grab case: Cong leader moves HC seeking Kerala CM’s removal for ‘shielding’ minister

The quo warranto also noted that four CPI ministers had boycotted a cabinet meeting last week after the high court passed strictures against former transport minister Thomas Chandy.

kerala Updated: Nov 20, 2017 16:01 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
Congress,Pinarayi Vijayan government,CPI
The high court had criticised the Pinarayi Vijayan-led government in Kerala for failing to take timely action against Thomas Chandy.(PTI File)

A Congress leader filed a petition seeking the removal of chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the Kerala high court on Monday.

The petitioner, RS Sasi Kumar, said Vijayan’s council of ministers has no right to continue in power after “losing collective responsibility” by allegedly shielding former transport minister Thomas Chandy in a land grab case. The quo warranto, which challenges an individual’s right to hold office or government privilege, also noted that four CPI ministers had boycotted a cabinet meeting last week after the high court passed strictures against Chandy.

Vijayan was severely criticised last week for allegedly delaying Chandy’s exit from the cabinet. The beleaguered transport minister was finally forced to quit after the high court questioned his continuance in the government.

Though Chandy had moved the court to quash a damning report of the Alappuzha district collector, it instead slammed him for questioning the very government of which he was a part. “It is a classic case of disqualification. The writ shows that the minister has lost confidence in the chief minister and the government, of which he is a part,” the court had said, while rejecting his plea.

The high court also criticised the government for failing to take timely action against Chandy.

The issue has also created a deep wedge between the CPI(M) and CPI, two ruling partners in the state government. CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan strongly criticised the political ally’s decision to boycott the cabinet, stating that it had given the government’s detractors a reason to celebrate.

“The CPI was trying to bask in the glory of Chandy’s resignation, and wanted to place the blame on others. This is not how an alliance should work. You have to receive both bouquets and brickbats while in power,” Balakrishnan said.

First Published: Nov 20, 2017 16:01 IST