The Pinarayi Vijayan-led Left government in Kerala is set to lay the Solar Judicial Commission probe report in the state assembly on Thursday, which could put the Congress in a tight spot as the report has criticised former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy’s office for alleged involvement in the scam.
Never before in the history of the state has the tabling of a judicial probe report witnessed such heightened political activity. The more than 1,000-page report of Justice (Retd) G. Sivarajan has criticised a huge number of top political leaders, including Chandy, his cabinet colleagues, sitting legislators, Lok Sabha members, former legislators and others.
The allegations regarding the multi-crore solar energy investment fraud that rocked the Chandy government in 2013 were led by Saritha Nair and her live-in partner Biju Radhakrishnan.
Saritha had close links with three of Chandy’s office staff, who were thrown out after the case surfaced in 2013.
On October 11 this year, Vijayan took the findings of the report to the cabinet.
Vijayan, known for his tough stand including against political rivals, has taken forward the report. He not only decided to accept the probe report and also revealed the actions that his government will take by appointing a high level police probe team to register cases of corruption, and also criminal cases for alleged sexual exploitation against Chandy and the other accused, as claimed by Saritha Nair.
After Vijayan announced these actions, Chandy and others slammed the report and pointed out that the commission has gone beyond its brief.
Chandy made a valiant attempt to get a copy of the report, but failed, and then the Congress party demanded that the Vijayan government call a special session of the Assembly, as all such judicial reports have to be first laid on the table.
Sensing an opportunity to hit back at Chandy, Vijayan first sent the report for three separate legal opinions and then announced that a special session would be called on November 9 to table the report.
In order to get maximum political mileage, Vijayan who has gone through the report, which includes a lot of “sleaze”, has decided that Thursday’s session will be telecast live by all TV channels who wish to cover it and has also announced that after the report is tabled, a copy will be made available to the legislators and media and also be uploaded in the state government and Kerala Assembly websites.
Chandy appeared unfazed and told IANS that he has nothing to fear as his conscience is clear and has done no wrong.
“Everything that the report contains has come out before too, and there is nothing new which is going to come out,” said Chandy.