Kochi, Nov 14 (PTI) Congress Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Tankha today faced the ire of Youth Congress workers as they staged a protest here against the senior Supreme Court lawyer’s decision to defend Kerala’s beleaguered minister Thomas Chandy in the encroachment case in the Kerala High Court.

A group of Youth Congress workers raised slogans and waved black flags at Tankha as he stepped out of a posh hotel here to proceed to the High Court, police said.

A small group of Youth Congress workers were detained for allegedly trying to stop his car at the hotel gate, they said.

Congress leaders including former PCC Chief V M Sudheeran and Leader of the Opposition in Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala have expressed their displeasure over the Madhya Pradesh MP’s decision to defend Chandy, an NCP nominee in the CPI(M)-led LDF government.

Chennithala said they had come to know of Tankha’s decision to appear for Chandy only yesterday and immediately AICC General secretary in charge of Kerala, Mukul Wasnik, was informed.

Sudheeran attacked Tankha, saying his appearance for Chandy was an “insult” to the UDF.

Tankha, who arrived here last evening, however maintained that he was appearing on behalf of Chandy in court in his professional capacity as a lawyer.

In a tweet, the MP said, “In Cochin t argue a matter f old friend n professional capacity f lawyer.. Rare instance of a Minister compelled t challenge a dist Col order.” A meeting of the Nationalist Congress Party’s state executive committee will be held here today amid mounting pressure on Transport Minister Thomas Chandy to quit over allegations of land encroachments by his lake resort in Alappuzha district.

The opposition Congress-led UDF and the BJP have been demanding the resignation of Chandy over allegations of land encroachment.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.