Opposition Leader Alleges Corruption in Kerala’s Solar Power Projects

V.D. Satheesan Accuses Government of Shielding Corruption and Calls for Court-Supervised Investigation

Leader of the Opposition in the Kerala Assembly, V.D. Satheesan, has raised serious allegations of corruption within the solar power projects of the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB). In a strongly-worded statement, Satheesan accused the Pinarayi Vijayan government of engaging in corrupt practices across the state, particularly in its efforts to shield public sector institutions and companies with government affiliations.

The specific accusation made by Satheesan revolves around a substantial bribe, reportedly amounting to approximately Rs 5 crore, in connection with the 7 MW solar power project located in Kanjikode and Brahmapuram. According to his claims, the contract for establishing these solar power plants was initially awarded to Inkel Limited, a company chaired by the Minister of Industries, P. Rajeev, and this award was granted by KSEB at a rate of Rs. 56 per watt.

However, the opposition leader contends that Inkel “illegally subcontracted” the contract to Rich Phytocare, a company based in Tamil Nadu, for a sum of Rs. 33.95 crore in June 2020, which raised several eyebrows. Subsequently, Inkel purportedly sold the contract to a private entity for Rs. 44 per watt, indicating a significant financial disparity.

Satheesan further alleged that a complaint regarding this subcontracting and potential corruption had reached the chief minister’s office three years ago, highlighting what he perceives as a deliberate attempt by the government to “cover up the corruption” rather than addressing it.

In a surprising twist, Satheesan pointed out that the government’s investigation into the alleged corruption is taking place with the involvement of Inkel’s managing director, a situation he finds ironic and potentially biased. Moreover, he raised concerns that Inkel had not conducted a proper scientific examination to verify the former managing director’s claim that the contract was obtained with a forged signature.

Satheesan’s strong stance on this matter was evident as he declared that the opposition would not permit the government to conduct an internal investigation that could potentially sweep the issue under the rug. Instead, he demanded that the government show transparency and accountability by consenting to a court-supervised investigation to address the serious allegations surrounding Inkel and the solar power project.

These allegations of corruption within Kerala’s solar power projects have cast a shadow over the government’s commitment to transparency and accountability, and the call for a court-supervised investigation underscores the need for a thorough and impartial examination of the situation.