KOZHIKODE: Alleging "political conspiracy" behind the bribery allegations made against him by a solar scam accused, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy today blamed a section of the bar owners for it.
The prime accused in the solar case Saritha S Nair had yesterday targeted Chandy and Power Minister Arayadan Mohammed while deposing before the Justice Sivarajan Commission in Kochi, probing the case, and had alleged that she had paid bribes to the tune of Rs 1.90 crore to a close aide of the Chief Minister and Rs 40 lakh to Mohammed. Both had denied the allegations.
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"The new allegations are part of a political conspiracy hatched in connivance with the liquor lobby. The government had taken a bold decision to close down several liquor bars. Because they (bar owners) lost their battle in various courts -- high court and Supreme Court, they have come with new allegations to hit out at the government", he said. "The government has the exact evidence in this regard", Chandy told reporters.
The allegations made by Saritha yesterday are part of this conspiracy, he said and criticised CPI(M) stating that as they were unable to topple the government, the Marxist party was making all out efforts to ensure that the Congress-led UDF does not come to power in the coming assembly polls.
The Marxist party had lost its face for seeking the government's resignation after another solar case accused Biju Radhakrishnan had stated that he had a CD with incriminating visuals against the Chief Minister, he said.
Chandy said former Government Chief Whip P C George had also played a role in yesterday's allegations.
Maintaining that there was no truth in the allegations, Chandy said the government had not lost even a rupee as alleged by the opposition in the scam and had not helped a company to gain even a rupee.
Noting that two weeks ago Saritha had told the solar commission that the Chief Minister was like a "father figure", Chandy said, "How has it changed so soon? What happened ?."
In 2014, Saritha had alleged that CPI(M) had offered her Rs 10 crore to topple the government. "We had not reacted then," Chandy said.
Chandy, who reached here by train, was greeted with black flag-waving protesters of DYFI and Yuva Morcha -- the youth organisations of CPI(M) and BJP respectively.
Police had a tough time chasing away the protesters who also shouted slogans against Chandy. The protesters alleged that pepper spray was used against them.