iconimg Friday, July 03, 2015

Ramesh Babu, Hindustan Times
Thiruvananthapuram, July 12, 2013
Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy, whose integrity has never been in doubt, has admitted to some official lapses that allowed the scam that’s now plaguing him, to take root.
“My office made some mistakes. When they came to my notice I took immediate action. I sacked three persons, and one of them is in jail now,” Chandy said.

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Taking advantage of Chandy’s easy accessibility, a woman and her supposed second husband, a murder accused, had allegedly duped people with the help of some of the CM’s staff members by promising them imported solar panels, wind mills, dealerships and shares in fictitious firm. In some cases the payments were made.

The opposition was encouraged when a complainant by the name Sreedharan Nair alleged he had met Chandy with Saritha Nair, one of the two alleged frauds, at the CM’s office last year before he paid Rs. 40 lakh to install solar panels. Chandy said he did meet Sreedharan Nair but did not discuss anything about the solar scheme.

“Since he’s an office-bearer of the Metal Crushing Unit Owners’ Association, he came to me to discuss some of the problems of his organisation,” Chandy said, dismissing Nair’s claim.

“Nair has changed his version thrice. It is sad the opposition is upholding his claim to corner me. Whoever comes to me I give him (or her) a patient hearing.”

“The CPI(M) is desperate to destabilise me.”

Some of Chandy’s Congress colleagues, through their press statements, did not make things easy for the CM, who has this to say, “I rose from the ranks and I love to be in the midst of people.”