Court remarks put government on the edge of a precipice

The remarks of two separate Benches of the Kerala High Court in solar scam cases have put Chief Minister Oommen Chandy under severe pressure, besides pushing the United Democratic Front (UDF) government towards a precipice.

Mr. Chandy has ruled out the question of his resignation, but the developments of the day have given enough ammunition to the Opposition Left Democratic Front to give a new turn to its ongoing agitation seeking his resignation.

The remarks have proved to be politically inconvenient for the State government and for Mr. Chandy, who has been embattled by the solar scam cases. At the end of the day, Mr. Chandy appeared to be isolated in the party, even as security firewalls went up around his office to prevent mediapersons from entering it.

Mr. Chandy held consultations with some of his close aides on the strategy to be adopted, prompting some of the senior Congress leaders to complain that there were in the dark about the developments as Mr. Chandy did not call for collective consultation to discuss the latest fallout.

Many leaders felt that the sole responsibility of replying to the charges in the solar scam cases rested entirely with the Chief Minister.

The UDF committee is scheduled to meet here on Wednesday to evaluate the political fallout of the court remarks.

The front leaders are in agreement with the Chief Minister that he need not resign on the basis of the court observations.

However, they felt that the observations cannot be disregarded summarily since it has put a shroud on the investigation in the scam cases.

Whatever explanations Mr. Chandy might give, the court observations have raised doubts in public domain about the transparency in the investigations.

The court observations are an indication of the failure of the ongoing investigations, they feel. The UDF partners are also in agreement that the image of the ruling coalition has dipped further on account of the court remarks.

The UDF partners, Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and the Kerala Congress(M), appear to be restive by the turn of events.

IUML stance

Reacting to the court observations, IUML leader P.K. Kunhalikutty admitted that the UDF was passing through a crisis. “This is the time for all UDF partners to stand together,” he said. He said that the IUML did not propose to put forward the proposal for a leadership change and that it was for the Congress party to take a decision on this. The Kerala Congress(M) also held a similar view, sources said.

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