The CPM-led government in Kerala has ordered a vigilance probe against Congress leader and former chief minister Oommen Chandy in the solar scam case. Post a state cabinet meeting, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters on Wednesday that the probe has been ordered based on the recommendations of a judicial commission report headed by Justice (retired) Sivarajan.
The report that was submitted to the government last month held Chandy and his staff members responsible for helping the accused in the solar scam to cheat clients, the CM said. The Congress leader and his aides reportedly took bribes from Saritha S Nair of the Team Solar company that helped install solar units for clients. The scandal first came to the fore in 2013 during the previous Congress government. Nair is accused of using high-profile political contacts to dupe clients.
The government said a criminal case would be registered against former home minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan for helping Chandy in the case.
The chief minister said the judicial commission has also recommended charging Chandy and other Congress leaders such as Aryadan Muhammad, AP Anil Kumar, Adoor Prakash, Hybi Eden, Pazhani Manikyam, N Subrahmanyan, KC Venugopal and Jose K Mani for sexually assaulting Nair based on a letter she wrote in 2013. The case will be registered under sections of rape and outraging the modesty of a woman.
Politically motivated, says Congress
Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, Ramesh Chennithala said the CPM government’s decision on the solar scam on a day when Vengara, a constituency in Malappuram district, votes in a bye-election is ‘politically motivated.’
Chandy told reporters that attempts to weaken him will not work. He denied committing any wrong and demanded the public release of the judicial commission report.
In reponse to Pinarayi’s statement, senior Congress leader A K Antony on Wednesday said the government should make public the inquiry commission report. He also targeted the CP(M) government for indulging in “low-level politics” by revealing details on the case a day before the bypoll.