Thomas Chandy (72), a three-time MLA from Kuttanad and former minister in the Pinarayi Vijayan government, died at a private hospital in Kochi Friday after a prolonged battle with cancer. He was the state president of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in Kerala.
Chandy served as the transport minister for eight months between April and November 2017 before resigning as a result of allegations that he had encroached upon backwaters and violated land-environmental laws to build ancillary facilities for a resort he owned in Alappuzha district.
Chandy, who took over as the chief of the NCP in Kerala last year, was also a prominent businessman, running several schools in the Middle East. He held the chairman’s post at schools like United Indian School, Indian Public School and Indian Central School in Kuwait. He also has business interests in the hospitality industry.
Chandy began his political career with the Congress party in Kerala and then following his mentor K Karunakaran into the newly-formed Democratic Indira Congress (DIC). He was elected as a DIC MLA in the 2006 Assembly elections from Kuttanad in Alappuzha district. After the party was dissolved, he joined the NCP and won elections from Kuttanad successfully in 2011 and 2016. In 2016, his declaration of assets to the tune of Rs 92 crores made him the richest candidate and subsequently the richest MLA in the Assembly. The NCP is presently an ally of the CPM-led LDF in Kerala.
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