November 16, 2017
Image credit : Illustrative Image
When the finger is pointed at the moon, the idiot looks at the finger. All fingers, right from that of the Alappuzha Collector to a number of investigative reports by the media and the talk of the town, pointed to how Kerala Transport Minister Thomas Chandy had flouted norms and reclaimed part of a lake for his resort’s makeover. But Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan refused to see where the finger was pointed to.
When Chandy approached the high court against all these charges and was reprimanded with the court asking him whether as minister he was appealing against his own Government, Pinarayi had just this to say that timely action will be taken. The court even said that a minister filing a case against the Government pointed to lack of collective responsibility.
Now Chandy after submitting his resignation claims it was because of such observations by the court that he decided to resign and was never asked by the Chief Minister to submit his papers.
Pinarayi, after his meeting with Chandy and National Congress Party (NCP) state president Peethambaran Master before the Cabinet meeting, maintained stoic silence like always in this case. But Chandy was firm and asserted that he was going for the Cabinet meeting.
When the whole of the State was waiting for some action from a Pinarayi who when in the Opposition had demanded the then Chief Minister Oommen Chandy to ‘throw out’ his ministers KM Mani and K Babu when there was allegations against them, took umbrage in maintaining ‘dignity’ among front partners in Thomas Chandy’s case. He also set a precedent when he accepted the demand of the NCP that the ministerial berth be left vacant for party which has just two MLAs. AK Saseendran had to resign, following a phone sex scandal and was replaced by Chandy who also had to quit. They expect the berth to be returned to the first who comes out clean in their cases.
Pinarayi during his post-cabinet media briefing appeared to be all-protective of the NCP and his cabinet colleague Chandy. But his impudence stood out and he expressed his displeasure over the four CPI Ministers staying away from Cabinet meeting, leaving a note that they could not take part in a Cabinet meeting where Thomas Chandy was present. Pinarayi said it was not normal practice to stay away from such a meeting which should be a platform for deliberations.
The stance of the CPI and also the Janata Dal that Chandy should have resigned long ago and that the Chief Minister should have sought his resignation make things difficult for the government in the coming days. In hardly two years, three ministers have quit. Things do not augur well for this government which swept to power with the slogan “We’ll set things right”.
Chandy has finally quit, but will also have the last laugh. Businessman Chandy now rightfully claims that he quit not because Pinarayi asked him to, but it was only because of some of the observations the court against lack of collective responsibility of the court and he did not want to be blamed for that.
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are the author’s own