In the wake of Transport Minister Thomas Chandy’s resignation from the Cabinet last week, a petition has been filed in the Kerala High Court demanding the resignation of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
The quo warranto petition, filed by RS Sasikumar, a former Congress syndicate member of the Kerala University and CUSAT boards, made the demand pointing to the observations of the HC division bench in the Chandy case, where it had said the Cabinet’s “collective responsibility” had been lost.
The bench had asked the former transport minister how he could complain against the state government, of which he was a part then. Calling it a classic example of disqualification, the bench had proceeded to dismiss Chandy’s petition before the court.
Chandy, an NCP minister, stepped down following accusations that he violated wetland conservation rules by encroaching upon a section of the backwaters to build ancillary facilities for a resort, which he owned along with a relative.
“In spite of the High Court observations, he (Chandy) was allowed to attend the Cabinet meeting. Four CPI ministers had refused to be present at that meeting because of Chandy. So when the High Court says that there has been a loss of collective responsibility, the CM should step down. In the petition, I have said that the CM has no right to exercise power,” Sasikumar told IndianExpress.com by phone.
When asked whether he believed his petition would withstand legal scrutiny, he said he was confident it would. “My petition is based on the High Court’s observations. Let the court make its remarks,” he said. Sasikumar stressed that his petition should not be seen as ‘political’.