The prime accused in the solar panel scam has told the judicial commission probing the case that he paid a bribe of Rs 35 lakh to Congress MP K C Venugopal when he was a Union minister of state in the previous UPA government.
Biju Radhakrishnan had floated a solar firm along with his partner Saritha Nair, who reportedly had links with personal staff of the chief minister and several Congress leaders in Kerala.
Radhakrishnan told the commission on Monday that he paid the bribe to the minister to get recognition for their firm Team Solar as the channel partner of ANERT and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
Radhakrishnan said he had paid the amount to Venugopal in two installments at his residence in Alappuzha. However, his relationship with Venugopal soured after he came to know that the minister allegedly had links with Saritha. Without informing him, Radhakrishnan said, Saritha had met Venugopal in Alappuzha and Delhi.
Radhakrishnan said he had asked Vengopal to give the money back, but he refused to do so. The accused also alleged that he had given Rs 40 lakh to K B Ganesh Kumar when he was the forest minister. The amount was given to Kumar to sanction purchase of solar panels for the forest department from his firm, he said. He also told the judicial panel that he had paid Rs 14 lakh to state power minister Aryadan Muhammed to erect solar panels in offices under the ministry.