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‘Solar scam’ continues to embarrass Chandy

‘Solar scam’ continues to embarrass Chandy

Thiruvananthapuram: An unrelenting LDF opposition in Kerala on Saturday stepped up the demand for Chief Minister Oommen Chandy's resignation in view of "new revelations" in the "solar scam", a day after he sacked two of his staff members for alleged links with a woman accused in the financial fraud.

Causing further embarrassment to Chandy, the absconding husband of Saritha Nair, arrested for financially cheating many people by offering to arrange solar panel agencies for them, Saturday told a television channel that he had once met the chief minister to talk about his business.

Speaking from an undisclosed location, Saritha's husband Biju Radhakrishnan also alleged that his wife's connections with former Forest Minister K B Ganesh Kumar was responsible for the collapse of his business and his family.

Biju, also an accused in the cheating case, said he was introduced to Chandy by Congress MP M I Shanawas.

Countering the charge against him, Kumar, who was compelled to quit the cabinet a few months ago at the height of discord with his estranged wife, termed Radhakrishnan's claim as "concocted" and part of attempts by 'forest lobby' to prevent his re-induction into the UDF cabinet, in which he held the forest portfolio.

Admitting that he had introduced Biju to Chandy, Shanawas said he had done that with good intentions as he thought that Biju was genuinely interested in solar business and he did not know anything about conduct of his business.

Seizing on the development, CPI-M politburo member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan wanted Chandy to step down as he had "concealed" from the state assembly the he had met Radhakrishnan.

Chandy had yesterday sacked his Personal Assistant Tenny Joppan and removed gunman Salim Raj from his personal staff for making frequent telephone conversations with Saritha, who was arrested earlier this month. With the issue figuring in the state assembly, Chandy constituted a special team under ADGP (south zone) to probe the case including the suspected role of his two personal aides.

Defence Minister A K Antony sought to downplay the solar panel scam linked to the office of Chief Minister."Government has ordered an enquiry. Let the report come", he said.

Asked about the controversy, Union minister Vayalar Ravi said everyone should be careful about whom they appoint as personal staff.

Kerala PCC President Ramesh Chennithala said at Palakkad that the KPCC would state its 'political stand' on the issue after the investigation report was submitted.


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