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Kerala CPM govt's new minister has huge biz interests in Kuwait

Businessman-turned- politician Thomas Chandy of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) was on Saturday sworn in as transport minister in Kerala's CPM-led Left Democratic Front government, replacing A K Saseendran, who quit as transport minister following allegations of a sleazy telephone conversation with a woman.

Thomas, who has extensive business interests in the West Asian Arab state of Kuwait and the southern Indian state of Kerala, is considered to be the richest legislator in the state assembly.

The three-time MLA, who runs schools in Middle East and lake resorts in the state, exuded confidence that meeting both business and ministerial responsibilities together would not be a hard task for him.

Kerala Governor Justice (Retd) P Sathasivam administered the oath of office to Thomas at the Raj Bhavan. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his cabinet colleagues were present at the function.

A three-time Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Kuttanad in Alapuzha district, he is the fourth minister from the district.

Nationalist Congress Party's Saseendran had resigned on March 26 after a purported audio clip of him speaking in sexual undertones to a woman was aired by Malayalam channel Mangalam.

Nationalist Congress Party leaders and Thomas Chandy's relatives were among those present at the swearing-in ceremony. Agencies
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