Nation Other News 14 Nov 2017 Congress MP Vivek Th ...

Congress MP Vivek Thankha to defend Thomas Chandy

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Nov 14, 2017, 1:54 am IST
Updated Nov 14, 2017, 1:54 am IST
The Rajya Sabha MP from Madhya Pradesh,  who is a senior lawyer in the Supreme Court,  has already reached Kochi for the same.
Congress MP Vivek Thankha
 Congress MP Vivek Thankha

Thiruvananthapuram/Kochi: Setting off another controversy  and pushing the Congress leaders in the state to a corner, Congress MP Vivek Thankha will appear for embattled NCP minister Thomas Chandy in the Kerala High Court in the wetland encroachment case against him. The Rajya Sabha MP from Madhya Pradesh,  who is a senior lawyer in the Supreme Court,  has already reached Kochi for the same.  Mr Vivek, 61,  is also a former attorney-general. The move has rattled the Congress leadership in the state who are vigorously pushing for the resignation of  Mr Chandy over the alleged wetland violation.

Mr  Thomas Chandy is trying to wriggle out of the controversy and the setback in the form of an adverse report from the Alappuzha district collector T.V. Anupama by securing a favourable verdict from the High Court.   Mr Thankha is known for his battle to unravel the mystery in the Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh which is also notorious for a series of mystery deaths. He is learnt to be the first lawyer to reach the position of additional solicitor-general of India from Madhya Pradesh. KPCC president M. M. Hassan told DC that he was  helpless as the high-profile lawyer had  already reached Kochi to appear for the tainted minister.
The  Congress leaders were caught off-guard when they were busy with Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala’s Padayorukkam yatra  in  Palakkad which was inaugurated by Mr  V. Narayanaswamy, Puducherry chief Minister.

 

Mr Hassan said, “none of these legal experts belonging to the party inform the AICC before they venture out to  appear for a particular VVIP. We will raise this issue before the AICC leadership.” UDF convener P. P. Thankachan said,  “there is an impropriety in Vivek Thankha appearing for Thomas Chandy. But  he is doing his job. It is better not to mix professional and party ethics at this juncture,”  said  Mr Thankachan.   The issue would be brought to the notice of the AICC leadership, he added. Former KPCC president V. M. Sudheeran also said  Mr  Thankha  should have avoided this case. It may be recalled that  the Congress faced a similar dilemma when AICC's chief spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi appeared for lottery king Santiago Martin in 2010,  who was allegedly linked to the CPM.  When it snowballed into a major controversy,  Mr Singhvi was removed as spokesperson. Later, when Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's legal advisor M. K. Damodaran appeared for Santiago Martin, it led to a furore with the Congress  demanding  the removal of Mr Damodaran as legal advisor.

 

NCP stand

NCP sources said the party meeting scheduled for Tuesday would  discuss the  political issues in the state,  including the allegations against Mr  Thomas Chandy. The meeting gains significance in the wake of LDF entrusting chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan  to decide on  Mr Chandy’s fate. NCP sources said the LDF decision was applicable to them, as they are  part of the ruling coalition. "Pinarayi  Vijayan has the collector’s report,  advocate-general’s legal advice and LDF state committee’s unanimous decision before him. It is his call," a senior leader said.

 

 Though the NCP leadership continues to maintain that nothing illegal has been found against  Mr Chandy, the party is ready to abide by the chief minister’s decision. “We are sure the chief minister will examine all legalities and reports which are on his table. Whatever may be his decision, it will be acceptable to us,” said a leader. However, the NCP leadership made it clear that   no deadline was set for taking a decision on  Mr Chandy. “It will be taken as soon as possible. There is no deadline,” the leader added.

 

On the return of  former  minister A.K. Saseendran to the cabinet,  the NCP sources said the decision would be taken once the matter pertaining to “honey trap” involving him is settled. “The national leadership, state leadership and even Thomas Chandy had earlier taken the stand that if Saseendran comes clean on the allegations, he would return to the cabinet. Chandy had even said that he would quit the moment Saseendran is free of all charges,”  he said. Meanwhile,  the chief minister  again dodged questions by mediapersons on  Mr Chandy. Despite repeated questions, he  kept mum.  However, industries minister A.C. Moideen said the LDF decision would be implemented in  Mr Chandy’s  case.  When asked about the delaying tactics of NCP leadership, the minister shot back,  “you ask them.” 

 

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Location: India, Kerala




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