Deputy Leader of the Opposition Kodiyeri Balakrishnan on Wednesday said Oommen Chandy could salvage at least part of the love he had earned from the people, as a politician and Chief Minister, if he would step down from the helm of the government without any delay.
Addressing a press conference at the AKG Centre here on Wednesday - after the Chief Minister had explained to the media why he need not resign over the solar scam - Mr. Balakrishnan said, as a former Home Minister, he had a layman’s idea of how an investigation to verify the facts of the case could be undertaken, where to look for supportive or contradictory evidence with respect to a complaint.
The issue was the complaint of R. Sreedharan Nair, a known Congressman, who had nothing to do with any of the Opposition parties. He had claimed he had met the Chief Minister on July 9, 2012, along with Saritha Nair of ‘Team Solar’ company.
He had claimed that the Chief Minister had reassured him about the emerging prospects of solar energy ventures and the need for people like him supporting solar initiatives.
He had also mentioned that Saritha had handed over a cheque for Rs.2 lakh to the Chief Minister that day as donation to the Chief Minister’s relief fund.
The cheque affair was important [only] when the investigator looked for circumstantial things.Mr. Balakrishnan said one could accept at face value the Chief Minister’s contention that the closed circuit webcam in his chamber did not ‘record’ what was happening in his office but only did webcasting.
It was another matter that experts would contend that even erased recordings could be recovered.
But there were six other cameras starting from the Secretariat entry point to the Chief Minister’s office corridor recording each movement. These cameras were installed during the time of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government following a directive from the Central government for beefing up security for all Chief Ministers.
The Cyber Cell could ascertain whether what Mr. Sreedharan Nair had stated in his complaint was true from the recordings in these cameras.
He said the government had also given an answer in the Assembly that Team Solar had given a cheque for Rs.2 lakh to the Chief Minister’s relief fund.The receipt of the cheque was recorded on July 10, 2012. So there was circumstantial evidence to show that the complainant was speaking the truth when he mentioned about meeting the Chief Minister.
Mr. Balakrishnan said, if the Chief Minister’s then personal assistant Tenny Joppan should be arraigned in the cheating case charged on the basis of Mr. Sreedharan Nair’s complaint, Mr. Chandy too should be made an accused.
That was the usual practice when there was a complaint statement, under Section 164 of the Indian Penal Code, as Mr. Sreedharan Nair had made before a magistrate. Embarrassing things had to be undertaken now.
“Mr. Chandy should not turn himself into a thing of public ridicule by clinging on to power,” Mr. Balakrishnan said, adding that the Left Democratic Front (LDF) had no desire to bring down the UDF government.