Solar scam: Kerala CM denies charges, LDF steps up protest
Thiruvananthapuram: Dismissing as baseless the allegation against him by solar scam accused Biju Radhakrishnan, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Thursday told the state Assembly that he has no right to continue in public life or hold any post if there is even one per cent truth in the charges.
However, the CPI(M)-led opposition targeted Chandy and demanded a probe into allegations as they stepped up their protest over the issue, creating uproar in the House which led to its adjournment ahead of schedule.
Chandy, replying to a notice for an adjournment motion moved by the Opposition on the fresh deposition by Radhakrishnan, said he would take legal recourse to bring out the alleged CD and other "evidence" to reveal the truth.
"The allegation, raised by the Opposition, is a very serious one. I have no right to continue in public life and in any post if there is even one per cent truth in it," he said.
"My life is an open book. Levelling charges without an iota of truth is actually a challenge to the society, political system and to the state," an emotional Chandy said. The charges, made by Radhakrishnan while deposing before the solar judicial commission yesterday, had created a row in the state with Opposition taking on Chandy in the House.
CPI(M) leader E P Jayarajan, while seeking leave for the motion, demanded a comprehensive inquiry into the allegations by Radhakrishnan that a bribe of Rs 5.50 crore was paid to Chandy as part of his solar solution business Lashing out at the Congress-led UDF government, he also said Chandy has no "moral or legal right" to continue as Chief Minister.
Countering the Opposition charges, Chandy said that "Radhakrishnan had enmity towards this government for farming charges under IPC 320 in connection with the murder of his wife.
"Even though I had to pay a huge price (facing allegations) for this, I am happy that I did justice," the CM said.
"I had not done anything wrong," Chandy asserted and said the Opposition cannot push him out of politics by disgracing him.
Radhakrishnan, an accused in 58 cases and undergoing life imprisonment for the murder of his wife, had actually used the opportunity to tarnish and attack him and the government because of his enmity, the chief minister alleged.
Chandy also alleged that Radhakrishnan was a fraudster, who had impersonated under various names including a PhD holder in solar energy and the technical adviser to the then Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi.
Denying charges against Chief Minister and other Congress leaders over the solar issue, Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala deplored the recent tendency of electronic media's "breaking news culture". He said the visual media should introspect whether it was proper to target reputed public figures and politicians without checking the authenticity and credibility of the persons levelling the charges.
Chennithala also said by taking up an issue based on the allegations of a criminal, the Opposition had exposed their "political bankruptcy".
"The total amount involved in the solar scam is Rs 6 crore. How ridiculous it is to allege that Rs 5.50 crore had payed as bribe?" Chennithala asked.
The state ministers including Shibu Baby John, A P Anil Kumar and Aryadan Muhammed and MLAs P C Vishnunath and Hibi Eden, who also faced allegations in the scam, also denied charges and said they were 'ready to end their public life' if the charges were proved right.
However, the Opposition continued their protest by sitting in the well of the House and raised slogans against Chandy and the government, prompting Speaker N Sakthan adjourn the House for the day ahead of schedule.
Biju Radhakrishan, the co-accused in the sensational solar scam along with his accomplice Saritha S Nair, had allegedly cheated several persons by offering 'solar panel solutions' by floating a company titled 'Team Solar'. The duo allegedly canvassed by using names of high-level functionaries including Chandy.
Saritha is the first accused in the case. They were arrested and were released on bail. The state had witnessed a series of agitations by the opposition demanding Chandy's resignation after the case came to light in June 2013.
Three of Chandy's staff members were forced to quit and one of them, Tenny Joppen, was arrested for alleged link with