Solar scam: No political VIP figure in accused's complaint
In a dramatic turn in the solar panel scam rocking Kerala's Congress-led UDF government, a key accused in the case today refuted any links with political bigwigs and ministers as alleged by Opposition LDF to buttress its demand for resignation of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.
July 29, 2013 / 09:44 PM IST
In a dramatic turn in the solar panel scam rocking Kerala's Congress-led UDF government, a key accused in the case today refuted any links with political bigwigs and ministers as alleged by Opposition LDF to buttress its demand for resignation of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. In a three-page complaint submitted to the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate in Kochi, second accused Saritha Nair put the blame for the fraudulent dealings on the first accused Biju Radhakrishnan and actress Shalu Menon while stating that associating her name with politicians and ministers was not correct.
Reacting to the development, CPI(M) state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan claimed that the new turn in the case was the result of attempts (by a section of UDF leaders) to sabotage the case by manipulating legal processes and course of investigation. Vijayan, whose party has launched an indefinite dharna with its LDF allies demanding the resignation of Chandy, claimed there was sound reasons to suspect that manipulations had taken place at various levels and a judicial probe had become all the more inevitable to bring out the truth.
Saritha in her complaint alleged that she, her children and mother were facing death threats from Radhakrishnan and Shalu, who had taken away all the money collected by cheating. The scam pertains to financial cheating of a large number of people by Saritha and Biju by offering them solar energy solutions. It took a serious political turn after the arrest of a close personal aide of Chandy for his alleged links with the fraudsters.
Two other personal staff members of Chandy were removed and state public relations director A Firoz was also arrested in a related case. The scam also had reflections in the internal dynamics of Congress in the state with the party thinking seriously of a Cabinet and organisational revamp to consolidate its political position to take on the LDF during the Lok Sabha polls. Chandy and KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala are in New Delhi to discuss the issues in the state with the Congress high command and evolve a solution to defuse the crisis gripping the ministry.
Since the scam broke out, Chandy had taken a firm stand that the charges against UDF were part of a "political conspiracy" and would be faced politically by the UDF. Meanwhile, the Kerala High Court turned down the bail plea of Shalu in a related cheating case and held it was high time a special legislation with penal provisions was enacted to deal with offences of fraud.