Kerala CM rules out resignation

With the LDF in Kerala baying for his resignation on the solar panel scam, a defiant Chief Minister Oommen Chandy rejected their demand, saying it was part of a political conspiracy by the CPI-M-led opposition and if he stepped down now, he would be doing an "injustice to truth."

"I am not a person who wants to cling to power at any cost. But, if I resign now, I will be doing injustice to truth," Chandy, in the eye of a storm triggered by the scam, told reporters after a cabinet meeting here today.

Expressing confidence of overcoming the present crisis, he said it was now a political issue and "we will fight it out."

"Party high command, state congress party, ministry and ruling UDF is united on this issue," he asserted.

Chandy said the charges against him were part of a political conspiracy by the CPI-M led LDF opposition, because all their agitations against the UDF government after it came to power failed to click.

The conspiracy started after the arrest of a personal staff in the Chief Minister’s office, he said.

"After that the LDF thought, it was a chance to target me and the UDF government’, he said adding "we will not yield to their political designs."

On the 12-hour hartal called by the opposition today demanding his resignation, Chandy said it was a challenge to people and government would not tolerate violence in the pretext of agitation.

Chandy also rejected the statement of the complainant in the solar case, Sreedharan Nair, that he had met the chief minister and discussed solar project.Investigation into the case was progressing in the right direction and "all accused in the case would be brought before law," he said.

The scam pertains to alleged cheating of several persons to the tune of crores of Rupees by one Saritha Nair and her accomplice Biju Radhakrishnan by offering solar panel solutions. An actress Shalu Menon has also been arrested in connection with the case.

It took a serious political turn with the arrest of one of Chandy's close personal aides, who has alleged links with the accused. Two other employees in his personal staff have also been removed in connection with the scam.

Terming LDF's demand for his resignation as "politically motivated", Chandy said, "I stand for truth and will do everything to bring out the truth. I will not buckle my knees before the conspiracy of opposition. There is not even an iota of truth in the opposition allegations."

It was a clear case of cheating and probe by the special investigation team is progressing in the right direction, he said adding that the investigation would be completed in few days.

"If opposition has any complaint even after the completion of inquiry, I am ready to hear them. The hartal is definitely not to bring out the culprits in the case but to create political turmoil," Chandy, who addressed the media for more than 90 minutes, said.

Chandy said allegations against his son Chandy Oommen by BJP leader K Surendran and LDF that he had links with the solar company involved in the scandal was "very unfortunate".

It has been decided to take legal action against the persons who raised unfounded allegations, Chandy said.

The chief minister said he would meet AICC Chief Sonia Gandhi and other congress leaders during his visit to Delhi on July 15.

Chandy also denied reports that the Congress High Command had sought a report on solar scam from the state leadership and he had offered to quit.

Meanwhile, CPI-M politburo member and former state Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan refuted Chandy's charge that LDF was trying to involve Chandy in the scam with political intentions.

"In fact, Chandy is trying to cover up the truth by sticking to power," Balakrishnan told reporters here.

Balakrishnan accused Chandy of covering up truth and said "Chandy is not saying everything."

He reiterated the allegation based on the complaint of Sreedharan Nair that he (Nair) entered into agreement with the Solar company of Saritha Nair and exchanged money after his meeting with Chandy on July 9 last year.

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