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Solar case comes back to haunt Congress leaders in Kerala

The Congress high command has also woken up to the seriousness of the issue

Gulf News

Thiruvananthapuram: Congress leaders in Kerala — for whom the solar power scam has been a nightmare from the final years of the previous Oommen Chandy government — are facing the jitters once more following the submission of the report by the judicial commission that studied the case.

Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s Left Democratic Front government has decided to go ahead with vigilance cases against Chandy and some other senior Congress leaders, which has sent the local Congress leadership into a shell.

The Solar Judicial Commission headed by justice G. Sivarajan, a retired judge, was submitted in late September and the LDF government announced its intention earlier this week to press ahead with vigilance and criminal cases against those named in the report.

The Congress high command has also woken up to the seriousness of the issue and party vice president Rahul Gandhi had meetings scheduled on Friday with a number of senior Congress leaders from Kerala.

The solar commission report had criticised the manner in which former chief minister Chandy’s office seemed to have helped the key accused in the solar scam, namely Saritha Nair and Biju Radhakrishnan. The two are thought to have duped dozens of people to the tune of Rs70 million (Dh3.96 million) by promising them high returns on investment by putting their money in solar and wind power projects.

Chandy has stated that he is willing to exit public life “even if one per cent of the allegations are proved”. But the LDF government has strongly expressed its intention to go ahead with cases against the former chief minister, some of his cabinet colleagues, MPs and MLAs as well as some government officials mentioned in the solar commission report.

The solar commission report with adverse remarks against Congress leaders has come as a timely political tool for Pinarayi Vijayan, who is already seen to be a protector of Keralites’ dignity against the series of adverse remarks being made against the state by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s national leaders.

Among the Congress leaders who have rushed to Delhi to meet with the party high command are Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president M.M. Hassan, former KPCC president V.M. Sudheeran and party state vice president V.D. Satheesan.