Tuesday, March 17, 2009

JD(S) Minister quits Kerala Cabinet

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Transport Minister Mathew T. Thomas, the Janata Dal (Secular) representative in the Left Democratic Front (LDF) Cabinet, resigned on Monday following denial of the Kozhikode Lok Sabha seat to the party.

He told reporters that the happenings in Kerala did not augur well for the efforts to form a Third Front at the national level.

Mr. Thomas sent in his resignation to Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan around 8 p.m. on the direction of party State president M.P. Veerendra Kumar.

Shortly before submitting his resignation, he told The Hindu that he was abiding by the party leadership’s direction.

‘Politically indefensible’

He signed his resignation letter seconds after Mr. Veerendra Kumar announced at a news conference in Kozhikode that he had asked Mr. Thomas to put in his papers. Coming down heavily on the CPI(M) decision not to give the JD(S) the Kozhikode constituency, currently being represented by him in Parliament, Mr. Veerendra Kumar said the CPI(M) decision was ‘politically indefensible’ and against all norms of political morality.

In person

Mr. Thomas, widely respected for his efforts to lift the Kerala State Transport Corporation (KSRTC) out of the red, drove down to the Chief Minister’s official residence and handed over his resignation letter to Mr. Achuthanandan in the presence of Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Vijayakumar even as Mr. Veerendra Kumar’s news conference was in progress in Kozhikode.

Mr. Veerendra Kumar said the CPI(M) decision was formally communicated to him by party State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan.

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