Thomas Chandy sworn in as Kerala minister

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Thomas Chandy sworn in as Kerala minister

Thiruvananthapuram, April 1 (IANS) Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) legislator and Kuwait-based businessman Thomas Chandy was sworn in as a minister in Kerala on Saturday.

The 69-year-old businessman was sworn in as the new Kerala Transport Minister by Governor P. Sathasivam at the Raj Bhavan here.

A three-time legislator from the Kuttanad assembly constituency in Alappuzha district, Chandy started his political career as a Congress student activist. He later left Kerala to start his own business in Kuwait and now runs a string of schools in the Middle East and other establishments.

Known as ‘Kuwait Chandy’, he tried on many occasions to get a Congress ticket to contest the assembly elections, but that never happened.

Finally it was K. Karunakaran’s resignation from the Congress party to float his own political outfit Democratic Indira Congress-Karunakaran (DIC-K), that gave Chandy the political break by giving him a seat to contest in the 2006 assembly polls.

He was the only DIC-K candidate to win the polls and till the 2011 assembly polls, he remained with the NCP, even when his political mentor Karunakaran returned to the Congress.

Ahead of the 2016 assembly polls, Chandy created a flutter by stating in advance that he will win and become the State Minister for Water Resources.

This statement irked the Left Front and after Pinarayi Vijayan was elected as the Chief Minister, the ministership for the NCP went to Chandy’s party colleague A.K. Saseendran.

But on March 26, Saseendran quit after an audio emerged in which he was heard having lewd conversations with a woman on the phone.

Rushing down from Kuwait, Chandy forced his national leadership to see that he replaces Saseendran. With none other than these two legislators, the national leadership prevailed upon Vijayan to make Chandy the minister.

“I have a big task in front of me and it’s to resurrect the state-owned Kerala State Road Transport Corporation, which is in a bad shape. My predecessor did a lot of work and I will continue to carry it forward,” Chandy told the media before being sworn in.

“I am sure I can do something because I have found out that in other states the transport services are run profitably,” he said.

Chandy has one son and two daughters who are settled abroad. He also owns a resort on the edge of the famous Punnamada Lake in Kuttanad, where the annual Nehru Boat Race is held.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.