After the Cabinet briefing on Wednesday, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who is caught in the Solar scam, came up with several statements in his defence. “I haven’t gone back on my stand in the Solar case,as is being made out by some quarters now. In all the 10 days when the case was raised in one way or the other in the Assembly by the Opposition, I had only one stand. I stated that I had not issued any letter for the Solar company. Later, I was vindicated when the letter was found to be forged and the person behind it is in the jail now,” the Chief Minister said.
“I had also stated that it was the C-Dit which installed the solar panels in my office and official residence. The live webcast equipment in my office has no recording facility and the CCTV system, installed by the former government, had only a storage capacity of a one to two weeks. I have also stated that Sreedharan Nair had met me twice in connection with memorandum submission and a discussion meet in connection with issues related to stone crusher owners and that the solar project was not a discussion topic,” he said.
Chandy reiterated that as per records, the MOU between Sreedharan Nair’s firm and Team Solar was signed on June 25, 2012 and the latter also made the payments by way of three cheques. Sreedharan Nair had claimed in his court statement as well as in front of the media that he had given the money to Saritha S Nair, on the belief that she had the support of the Chief Minister, after meeting him in her presence at the secretariat on July 9, 2012.
“If the complainant’s claim of giving money at my prodding is true, then why didn’t he approach me with a complaint to get back his money till date?” Chandy asked, asserting that the developments points to a political conspiracy. “The Chief Minister’s name was not there in the original complaint of Sreedharan Nair, filed directly in the court. After giving his statement under 164 Cr PC in the court, these details immediately surfaced in a particular television channel only,” he said.
‘Lapses in office’
Chandy said that the top priority of the government is to find out all those who are behind the Solar Scam and bring them in front of law. “There were lapses in my office,” he admitted. “But an effective inquiry is going on. None including the opposition has complained on the credibility of the SIT. Though the government had not decided to leave the case to the CBI, the opposition LDF objected to it, which shows that they have faith in the ongoing probe,” the Chief Minister said. “A CBI probe or judicial inquiry will only delay the investigation in the case. The government has an open mind. After the completion of the ongoing probe, we are ready for any discussion with anyone in a democratic manner. The truth has to come out,” he said.
He flayed the violent agitations of the Opposition in the solar scam issue. “People’s issues like price rise and rain havoc was not discussed in the Assembly as the Opposition was only keen to raise the Solar Scam issue. There may be differences of political opinion. But a line of decency should be there and the UDF and Congress will not go beyond it,” he said.
“Even my family members are being targeted. A BJP leader had charged that my son is a CEO of the Indian operations of a multinational Solar company. I may remain silent on hearing such things. But he is going ahead with legal action,” he said.