Congress leader Oommen Chandy, seen as a chief ministerial probable of the UDF in Kerala,said he would co-operate with further probe in the palmolein as ordered by a special court today.
Talking to reporters amid speculation that he might opt out of the electoral arena in view of the new turn in the case, Mr. Chandy said he had apprised the Congress high command what he would do if he was made an accused after the investigation.
“I have always tried to uphold high values in public life. In the event of myself being made an accused, I would carry out the decision I have taken with the consent of the high command. I am not going to cling to technicalities citing political motives”, he told a crowded press meet at the KPCC headquarters here.
Mr. Chandy, who was finance minister in the UDF ministry headed by late K Karunakaran which cleared the plalmolein deal in 1991, said he would react in detail to the development after getting the copy of the court order tomorrow.
He, however, said the LDF owed an explanation to the people as to why he was not brought into the ambit of the case in all these 20 years. Everyone knew the reason for the case being given a new turn now, he said.
Our Staff Reporter adds:
Congress leader T. H. Mustafa has welcomed the decision by Special Court (vigilance), Thiruvananthapuram, allowing furhter probe into the palmolein import case. Addressing a press meet here on Monday, Mr. Mustafa, who was then the Minister for Civil Supplies, said that the Court has not made any remark against senior Congress leader Oommen Chandy in its judgement delivered on Monday.
In a discharge petition filed earler by Mr. Mustafa, he had mentioned that Mr. Chandy, who was then the Finance Minister was exempted from any charges in the case. Mr. Mustafa also said that the Special Court's verdict would not be a hurdle in Mr. Chandy contesting the Assembly elections.
Reacting to the proposed list of candidates for Ernakulam district finalised by the District Congress Committee, Mr. Mustafa said that the High Command should not permit P. P. Thankachan, UDF convenor and K. Babu, MLA, to contest the elections as they had already contested more than four elections.