Kerala to probe ex-CM Chandy in Solar Scam case

Solar scam Kerala govt to register vigilance case against former CM Oommen Chandy

A little over a year after he lost power to the Left Front and found his clean image dented by allegations of his involvement in the Rs 7 crore solar scam, former Kerala chief minister Oomen Chandy now faces a vigilance and criminal probe in the case. Accordingly, the Kerala government has chose to institute a vigilance probe into the corruption charge against Chandy as also into the allegation of outraging a woman's modesty.

The decision was taken on the basis of the findings of the Justice G Sivarajan Commission, which probed the scam and had last month submitted its report to the government. People close to Chandy told Mint, on conditions of anonymity, that the party is also looking at legal options to get hold of the full report and avert arrests if any.

Senior Congress leader A K Antony and AICC general secretary Mukul Wasnik who is in charge of party affairs in Kerala will also attend the meeting.

Reacting to the development in Thrissur, Chandy said the government selectively leaking the contents meant that it lacked credibility and will remain as such until the full contents are known to public. The government later agreed to form a judicial commission to probe alleged wrongdoings. "We are not scared of any investigation as we have not committed any fraud", he said.

With the Solar Commission Report giving rise to a political tsunami in the Congress circles in Kerala, the party's national leadership has summoned Congress leaders Ramesh Chennithala, Oommen Chandy, MM Hassan, and V D Satheesan to Delhi. In both these cases, the CPI (M) did not issue any denials, Mr. Chennithala said in support of his contention that further steps on the solar scam was politically motivated. The development also comes at a time when the Congress has been considerably weakened in Kerala with the exit of allies and internal bickering.

The others named in the case are legislator Hibi Eden, former MLAs Benny Behanan, P.C. Vishnunath, Thampanoor Ravi, Lok Sabha members Jose K. Mani and K.C. Venugopal, former union minister Palanimanickam and party office bearer N. Subramanian. He was referring to the bypoll ongoing in Vengara assembly constituency on Wednesday.

The decision to order the probe was announced by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in a press conference today morning, where he outlined the findings of the Judicial Commission.

Aryadan Muhammed, a former cabinet colleague and cited by the commission, questioned the logic of the Chief Minister in having chosen to rush with the contents before they were tabled in the State Assembly.

It is likely that a criminal case would be filed against former Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan as he is believed to have been an accomplice, and had allegedly tried to sabotage the probe by influencing the investigating officers.

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