KOCHI: Rejecting the calls for his resignation after a court directed the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau to register a case against him in the Travancore Titanium graft case, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said on Friday that it would be unwise to resign, merely on account of allegations, going by the past experience.
“Why should I resign? Don’t you remember the hue and cry made demanding my resignation when the vigilance court ordered a probe in palmolein case? Later, the vigilance court cleared me and then the Kerala High Court upheld the same. Take the solar case. Everybody was after my scalp. But look what happened now? None of those who wanted me to quit are appearing before the judicial commission to depose. So what would have happened if I had resigned then? I would have ended up as a laughing stock. In this case also, I know, I have done nothing wrong,” he said when asked during the course of a press conference whether he would quit over the issue.
Wondering how Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala could be made a party in the case, Chandy said he is prepared to face any probe as his hands are clean.
“Chennithala was neither the KPCC president nor part of the government. He was not even an MLA then and is no way connected with the issue,” he said.
The Chief Minister said there is no similarity between the scenario, when he had to give up the Vigilance portfolio following the palmolein case verdict and that involving Chennithala in Titanium case. “There is no question of Chennithala giving up the Vigilance portfolio,” he said.
Stating that only those who are guilty need to fear, Chandy said he intervened in the issue after trade union leaders met him. “The Titanium factory was almost on the verge of a closure due to the pollution norms. My style is acting swiftly to resolve matters in my capacity. I admit that I have intervened in the issue. I talked to G Thyagarajan, Supreme court Chairman of Monitoring Committee, over telephone, wrote three letters and met him in person. All these were done to protect the interest of the workers and the factory from closure and in the larger interests of the state. My conscience is very clear,” Chandy said.
He asked why none of the three (Ramesh Chennithala, V K Ebrahim Kunju and himself) failed to figure in the list of accused in the case registered in 2006 when LDF was in power.
“All this happened after K K Ramachandran Master raised some allegations, after he was suspended from the party,” said Oommen Chandy.