Kerala solar scam: Accused ex-CM Oommen Chandy says he has support of Congress and people

Thiruvananthapuram: Former Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy on Saturday said he has the support of the people and the Congress party, even after being named as an accused in the 2013 solar panel scam.

"I am surprised why Vijayan decided to go forward like this (order a judicial probe). Now that the special Assembly session has been called on 9 November to table the judicial report, I am least perturbed as there is nothing more in the report than what he (chief minister) announced at his press meet earlier this month," Chandy told IANS.

Kerala solar scam: Accused ex-CM Oommen Chandy says he has support of Congress and people

File image of former Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy. AFP

"Let the report be made public. I have got complete support of my party at all levels," he said in his first interaction with the media after the accusation was made.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had ordered setting up of a judicial commission headed by Justice G Sivarajan with Chandy being named as the prime accused based. Chandy said Vijayan and his party would have to pay a heavy price for "this goof up".

The solar scam made headlines in 2013 with the arrest of Saritha Nair and her partner Biju Radhakrishnan, who had allegedly conned businessmen by claiming high-level connections, including with Chandy, who was then the chief minister.

On 11 October, Vijayan called a press conference and announced the findings of the commission and also the action that the state government had taken by registering criminal, corruption and even sexual harassment charges against Chandy.

"I don't fear the contents of the report as even political party leaders have been unable to provide any sort of evidences," Chandy said.

He said apart from the support by party leaders, he had also been offered legal assistance by them. "I will take up the matter legally, while the political form of protest will be decided by the United Democratic Front (UDF)," Chandy added.

A Special Investigation Team led by Director General of Police Rajesh Diwan had been ordered to be set up to investigate the cases, but even after 10 days, Vijayan has not been able to come out with the government order announcing the probe. It has apparently been sent for a third legal opinion.

The two-time former chief minister, Chandy turns 73 on 31 October. He has been a legislator from Puthupally constituency in Kottayam district since 1970.

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Updated Date: Oct 21, 2017 13:42:04 IST

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