Left activists seek Chandy's resignation over Kerala scandal

Left activists seek Chandy's resignation over Kerala scandal

The controversy over a solar panel scandal in Kerala spilled over onto the streets on Monday, with opposition parties organising mass protests in Thiruvananthapuram demanding the resignation of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.

Slogans raised

Youth organisations affiliated to the Left parties took out a march to the Assembly raising slogans against Chandy for alleged links his office had with Sarita S Nair and Biju Radhakrishnan; who are accused of large-scale financial fraud involving investment in solar and wind energy projects.

DYFI members clashed with policemen near the Assembly building in the capital city. Water cannons and tear-gas were used leaving some of the protesters injured. Protests were also held in Kozhikode and Ernakulam.

Earlier, the protests were set to motion after Chandy informed the Assembly that there was no valid reason for him to step down or face a judicial probe into his links with the fraud. He denied that he had met Sarita or issued letters of recommendation to showcase the duo’s tainted company—Team Solar Renewable Energy Solutions—in the state’s high-profile event, “Emerging Kerala”.

However, Chandy admitted that Biju Radhakrishnan had met him to discuss a domestic issue of his. No favours were extended to the company, he said. But some of his office staff had abused the transparent nature of his office.

Chandy’s defiance in response to the resignation demands triggered strong criticism from the Leader of the opposition, V S Achuthanandan who said protests would continue, both within and outside of the Assembly, in the coming days.
Meanwhile, Monday’s leadership meeting of the ruling United Democratic Front decided to back the chief minister on the issue.

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