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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Thiruvananthpuram, July 09, 2013
Defence minister AK Antony on Tuesday ruled out a leadership change in Kerala, despite pressure mounting on chief minister Oommen Chandy to resign in wake of the solar scam. Addressing mediapersons at Kochi, Antony said there was no political crisis in Kerala and criticised the opposition CPM-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) for resorting to violent agitation to unseat a democratically elected government.

“There is no political crisis in Kerala, and there is no plan to change the present CM. An investigation is on in the scam. Let the opposition wait for its outcome. It cannot overthrow an elected government through violent means,” he said.

Antony, who is also a former Kerala CM, said it was sad that even the family members of leaders were being dragged into the scam.

“Opposition has crossed the lakshman rekha,” he said.

Meanwhile, the proceedings of Kerala assembly were disrupted for the second consecutive day on Tuesday even as LDF activists clashed with police at several places in the state capital, demanding Chandy’s resignation.

The CM is in for more trouble after complainant Sreedharan Nair alleged that he had met the Chandy with Saritha Nair, the key accused in the scam, before he made the payment to her to install imported solar panels. Nair made a statement under Section 164 of the CrPC before a first-class magistrate in Konni.

The House witnessed uproar and was adjourned after the Opposition reached with placards seeking the CM’s resignation. Outside the House, police lobbed teargas shells and resorted to lathicharge to disperse the agitators.

Chandy has already sacked two of his staff members for their alleged liaison with con-woman Saritha Nair, who floated a fictitious solar firm and cheated many. There are at least two dozen cases filed against Saritha and her husband Bjiu Radhakrishnan across the state.