Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said here on Wednesday that the Opposition would not be allowed to disrupt his mass contact programme as part of its agitation over the solar scam.
Talking to the media after a meeting of the Cabinet, the Chief Minister said his was a government with determination. Political issues would not be allowed to come in the way of the programme. “The programme can be undermined by none other than the people themselves.”
Mr. Chandy said time had proved that his government was not unstable as the Opposition had claimed from the beginning. He would step down only if the party asked him. Otherwise, he would work to fulfil the responsibilities entrusted to him by the party, enduring the smear campaign by the Opposition. The question of reshuffle of the Cabinet was a matter to be decided by the Congress high command.
It was evident that the Opposition’s objective was not the punishment of the guilty. Its objective was to bring down the government. He was not afraid of any inquiry and the ongoing investigation into the solar scam was aimed at bringing the real culprits to book. He would intervene only if the investigation went off the track. As to the complaint of his former personal assistant Tenny Joppan’s father that his son was being victimised, he was confident that Mr. Joppan would get justice from the investigation officers and the judiciary.
Referring to the allegation that the accused in the solar scam had made contributions to the Asraya Trust set up by him, Mr. Chandy said that no such contributions had been received. The trust was set up by him to provide medicines to the poor. However, he had given up all responsibilities of running the trust before becoming the Chief Minister. Though assistance from the trust was being managed by others, he had control over contributions to the trust and was accountable.
He reiterated that Sreedharan Nair, who had complained against Team Solar, had visited him with other office-bearers of a quarry owners’ association. Saritha S. Nair, an accused in the case, was not with him. Though contribution to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund from Team Solar had been made on that day, this would have been received by a personal staff member. As the cheque had bounced, the Law Department was looking into the legal aspects.
On the report that a CESS scientist had presented a report against the Vizhinjam International Transhipment Project, the Chief Minister said that no action detrimental to the project would be permitted.