Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has indicated that he is not averse to including him and his office in the terms of reference for the proposed judicial inquiry into the solar scam.
This was conveyed to leaders of some United Democratic Front (UDF) partners at a meeting Mr. Chandy convened at his official residence here on Monday evening. The meeting followed the general grouse expressed by some of them that adequate discussions were not being held on key issues. The meeting was attended primarily by leaders of the smaller constituents, who were given a copy of the Left Democratic Front’s letter on the terms of reference in response to the government’s request for its views.
Kerala Congress(B) leader R. Balakrishna Pillai, Kerala Congress (Jacob) leader Johny Nelloor, Communist Marxist Party leader K. Aravindakshan, Socialist Janata (Democratic) leader Varghese George, and Janadhipathya Samrakshana Samithy leader K. Rajan Babu attended the meeting, along with UDF convener P.P. Thankachan.
Mr. Chandy said he was ready to face any sort of inquiry because he was confident that the LDF would not be able to muster a shred of evidence against him. He did not want to give any opportunity to the LDF to continue its policy of non-cooperation on the ground that the Chief Minister and his office had not been included in the terms of reference. “We should face the Parliament election by being prepared to subject ourselves to judicial scrutiny,” he said.
The UDF leaders urged the Chief Minister to initiate the probe in a manner that would be convincing to the people. They also suggested that the government bring the 23 cases against the solar scam accused that went uninvestigated during the LDF rule within the purview of the judicial probe. A few advised caution in including the Chief Minister and his office in the terms of reference.
Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Thankachan said the constituent leaders had been given a copy of the 26-page LDF letter and asked to give their opinion after due discussions at the appropriate forums. He said a similar exercise had been scheduled on Tuesday with the Kerala Congress(M) and the Indian Union Muslim League. Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Ramesh Chennithala is expected to attend the discussions.