Kerala

UDF’s ring of defence around Chandy in solar case

Former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy addressing a gathering called in Kottayam on Saturday to clarify the UDF’s stance on the solar commission report.

Former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy addressing a gathering called in Kottayam on Saturday to clarify the UDF’s stance on the solar commission report.   | Photo Credit: SREE Aalapra

Former Chief Minister alleges CPI(M) bid to psychologically weaken its opponents

In an extraordinary show of solidarity, UDF leaders, including those in the faction-ridden Congress, have come together in support of former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and others allegedly named in the G. Sivarajan Commission report on the solar scam at the first of the public meetings called to clarify the coalition’s stance on the issue. They have made it clear that they are ready to take up the gauntlet thrown at them by the ruling LDF.

“We are not afraid. We will go to any extend to legally fight the case and come out without even a scratch on either the Congress or the UDF,” Mr. Chandy told an impressive gathering which waited patiently braving a downpour here on Saturday.

Bid to divert attention

The press conference by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on the report was nothing but a tactic to divert the attention of the people from the huge administrative failure of his government. “But this will turn out to be yet another and more damaging failure of his government,” Mr Chandy said.

“The CPI(M) is known to physically handle its opponents when it finds it difficult to take on them politically. Here too it is using the same tactic. It is trying to psychologically weaken the opponents as it finds it difficult to challenge the UDF politically,” Mr. Chandy said.

“We are ready to face any investigation as we are clear in our mind that we have not done any crime,” he said and added that the action of the Chief Minister in calling a press conference and make the statement was a gross violation of procedures.

He said the report should have gone first to the Home Department, vetted by the Law Department and then placed before the Cabinet. No such procedural formalities were fulfilled in this case.

He said the legal advice, as referred to by the Chief Minister, was given by the Director General of Prosecutions and the Advocate General, both political appointees. “Since the government had decided to go in for yet another legal opinion what is the status of the earlier one,” he asked.

Mr. Chandy said he was more pained at the way investigating officers were named by the Chief Minister at his press conference.

Chennithala opens meet

Inaugurating the meet, Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said the meeting of the Political Affairs Committee of the Congress held on Saturday decided to fight the LDF tactic to slap criminal cases on Congress leaders.

“There is political importance in the way the Chief Minister dealt with the solar commission report. His decision on the issue was not informed to the LDF. Neither the party nor the Cabinet knew about it,” Mr Chennithala said and alleged that it was a desperate action by a person to save the face of his government which had failed in all respect.

He said the UDF would fight the issue both legally and politically.

UDF leaders Anto Antony, MP, Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, Abdurahman Randathani, A.A. Azis, Varghese George, C.P. John, Joseph Vazhackan, Johnny Nelloor, and others spoke.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 9:58:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/udf-ring-of-defence-around-chandy-in-solar-case/article19898370.ece

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