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Solar scam: Chandy says govt ready for judicial probe

Solar scam: Chandy says govt ready for judicial probe

Thiruvananthapuram: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy announced Tuesday he was ready for a judicial probe into the solar scam case to end the Left opposition's siege of the secretariat.

Tuesday morning saw hectic consultations between the top brass of the Congress-led United Democratic Front at Chandy's official residence.

The opposition shot down Chandy's announcement that the state government was willing to go for a judicial probe by a sitting judge of the Kerala high court.

Chandy told reporters: "At the time when this scam broke out, I had made it very clear that we are prepared for any sort of probe, but the ongoing police probe be over in seven cases. That probe is now over and all the charge-sheets are ready. If the Left opposition is willing to discuss the terms of reference for the inquiry, we invite them for it."

"How can the chief minister remain in office when the judicial probe is on? We will not call off the siege till Chandy steps down," former CPI-M finance minister Thomas Issac told reporters after hearing Chandy's solution to end the impasse.

The Left opposition's supporters have laid a siege to the state secretariat since Monday morning and have cordoned off the three gates of the secretariat, but 67 percent attendance was reported Monday.

To avoid any confrontation with the protestors and ensure smooth conduct of the Independence Day practice parade, the government has announced a two-day holiday for the secretariat, the seat of the Kerala government.

"The CPI-M is playing just politics because in this solar scam case, the state exchequer has not lost a single rupee while the total loss incurred by investors is around Rs.7 crore. Why is that Prakash Karat (CPI-M General Secretary) not going to West Bengal where a chit fund company has cheated 1.4 million poor investors to the tune of Rs.3,000 crore," asked Chandy while ruling out that he would resign.

The Left opposition is expected to meet shortly to make their stand clear on Chandy's statement.

The Left's action comes in the wake of the solar scam in which Team Solar partners Saritha Nair and her live-in partner Biju Radhakrishnan allegedly defrauded people by offering solar energy solutions at huge discounts and not delivering. They allegedly used their clout in Chandy's office for duping people.

A total of 22 companies of central para-military forces, including the Central Reserve Police Force and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, are in Thiruvananthapuram but are yet to be deployed.

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