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Last Updated Friday October 23 2020 11:43 AM IST

Lessons from Thomas Chandy's inglorious exit

Prem Udayabhanu
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Lessons from Thomas Chandy's inglorious exit Leaving apart the merits and demerits of the land grab charges, Thomas Chandy can blame only himself for his exit, if it happens.

After the damning indictment by the High Court, only a divine intervention would have aided Thomas Chandy's continuation in the Pinarayi Vijayan-led ministry.

Though it did not happen, the defiant NCP legislator managed to prolong his imminent exit.

Leaving apart the merits and demerits of the land grab charges, Thomas Chandy can blame only himself for his exit.

Chandy fell prey to the machinations of power. He failed to realize that after a threshold, high-flying political connections alone would not be enough to bail him out in the present circumstances.

The key reason is that the LDF was voted to power by an angry electorate whose prime concern was the blanket of corruption that engulfed the previous dispensation.

Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan had made known that his government's zero tolerance against corruption approach to the then chief secretary S M Vijayanand. In his first interaction with the top boss of the bureaucracy, the CM had given the message that no political influence should be entertained by the bureaucracy.

Chandy may have also erred in not analyzing Pinarayi's approach. E P Jayarajan, considered a confidant of the CM, was unceremoniously shown the door on nepotism charges, which many consider as not so serious to warrant a minister's sacking.

Chandy himself got an entry into the ministry after the exit of his NCP peer A K Saseendran in the aftermath of sleaze allegations.

Perhaps, the biggest mistake Chandy made was to mock at the CPI, the second largest constituent in the LDF.

That Chandy's verbal volleys were unleashed at a felicitation function of the LDF march's southern leg in Alappuzha, led by CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran.

A tacit Kanam did not publicly respond to Chandy's diatribe then, but the knives were already out for the Kuttanad MLA.

From then on, the CPI toughened its stance and Chandy's sympathizers within the CPM also could not digest the fact that the troubled minister used an LDF platform to vent his ire.

Chandy's wry humor was also in full display the on Nov 10 when reporters sought his reaction. "Perhaps, I will think of a resignation after two years," he mocked.

Two years is too long a period for the world to overturn in politics, Chandy should know. Five days later Chandy had to bow out.

This is an inglorious exit which should have been avoided as the resignation had become a foregone conclusion after the damning indictment of the high court. Thomas Chandy spoiled a glorious opportunity for a decent exit.

Read: Latest Opinion | Threatening, provocative slogans expose BJP's call for peace in Kerala

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