Chandy meets Rahul Gandhi in Delhi to discuss solar scam case
New Delhi/Thiruvananthapuram: Former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who along with several senior Congress party leaders from the state is facing the heat in the solar scam case, met party Vice President Rahul Gandhi in Delhi to discuss the issue.
Chandy expressed happiness after the over hour-long meeting with the Congress Vice President.
“He (Gandhi) first met each one of us individually and then jointly. In my personal meeting with him, I told him everything (about the solar scam issue) and said that this is nothing but political witch hunt by the Kerala government,” he told reporters in New Delhi.
Chandy and other Congress leaders were summoned by the Congress high command after the Pinarayi Vijayan government in Kerala decided to initiate a criminal and vigilance probe against the former Chief Minister and others in the Rs 7 million case.
“I am very clear and as I have always maintained that I have done no wrong, so I am confident. In the final outcome on the solar scam case, the Kerala government will be at the receiving end,” said Chandy.
“The judicial commission report is still kept under wraps. In my letter through RTI seeking a copy of the report, I was told that it’s still not become a public document. But my contention is that I am a party in the report and hence not ‘public’. On a personal level, I will seek legal recourse. At the political level, the party and the UDF will decide what course of action needs to be taken,” he said.
He added that never before has a judicial commission gone beyond the terms of reference .
Asked if Gandhi was happy with his explanation, Chandy replied that he “has always been fortunate” that he has always enjoyed the “trust of the party cadres and the leadership”.
AICC spokesperson Manu Abhishek Singhvi told reporters in Delhi that the solar scam case will not stand in the court.
Chandy along with state party president M.M. Hassan, Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala, former party chief V.M. Sudheeran and party vice president V.D. Sateeshan are among others summoned to Delhi by Gandhi.
The Congress high command on Thursday directed its party workers in Kerala not to make any public utterances on the solar scam.
Based on the legal opinion that the state government received in the solar scam judicial probe report, Vijayan on Wednesday said criminal, corruption and even a rape case against Chandy, former ministers Aryadan Mohammed, Adoor Prakash, A.P. Anil Kumar and Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan would be registered.
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.
All those named in the case belong to the Congress, except for Jose K. Mani of the Kerala Congress (Mani).
The allegations regarding the multi-crore solar energy investment fraud that rocked the Chandy government in 2013 were led by Saritha Nair and her live-in partner Biju Radhakrishnan. Nair had alleged she was sexually exploited by several political leaders.
The probe decision was announced by Vijayan after the weekly cabinet meeting on Wednesday, based on the recommendations of the Solar Scam Commission report submitted by Justice (retd) G. Sivarajan in September.
A Special Investigation Team led by Director General of Police Rajesh Diwan has been set up to investigate the cases.
The case broke out in June 2013 during Chandy’s rule (2011-16) after reports surfaced that three staffers in the Chief Minister’s Office had contacts with a couple who cheated many investors of money after promising to supply solar panels to them.