Former Electricity Minister A.K. Balan, MLA, has alleged that the United Democratic Front (UDF) government is bent on extending the police custody of solar scam accused Saritha S. Nair out of fear of the political implications that can arise from the statements made by her at the Magistrate Court for Economic Offences in Kochi.

Mr. Balan was speaking during the launch of a day and night sit-in of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) here on Wednesday demanding the resignation of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and a judicial probe in the solar scam.

According to Mr. Balan, as many as 2,500 solar panels were provided for households during the previous LDF term, when he was the Minister for Electricity. The scheme was implemented efficiently with approval from the Central government and support of the Agency for Non-Conventional Energy and Rural Technology (ANERT).

In fact, it was a Union Minister who had launched the scheme, he added. The UDF government should clarify as to how Team Solar, the company floated by Biju Radhakrishnan and Saritha, was permitted to engage in the business of establishing solar panels.

Mr. Balan said Cultural Affairs Minister K.C. Joseph should be held accountable for facilitating the appointment of A. Firoz as director of the department, led by him, without the required credentials. He alleged that Mr. Firoz had published an album for the Chief Minister at a cost of Rs.18 lakh. Such ‘gifts’ were prepared using public money, he said.