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Won't quit over solar panel scam; allegations are political conspiracy: Kerala CM Chandy


Naveen Nair,CNN-IBN
Jul 09, 2013 at 06:19pm IST

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who has been facing pressure from the opposition to resign ever since the solar panel scam surfaced, told CNN-IBN on Tuesday that charges levelled against him are baseless and that he will not quit from his post.

He said the allegations are a political conspiracy to overthrow his government. "My life is an open book. I have come from a village. If I was not honest, why would the people elect me?," Chandy said.

ALSO SEE Solar panel scam: Kerala Assembly adjourned sine die, Oppn seeks Chandy's resignation

While the Congress has rallied behind him, the Left Front has protested outside the Assembly, raising the pitch for his exit. The Left has called for a 12-hour strike across the state tomorrow.

A duped investor had claimed he put his money in a fraudulent solar scheme after being reassured about the project in the presence of Chandy. Team Solar partners Saritha Nair and Biju Radhakrishnan, now in police custody, had allegedly duped many investors using their political connections.

Chandy added that once the "real culprits" in the case are booked, he will be open to any enquiry and will also be willing to hold discussions with the opposition.

The state has been witnessing protests over the past two days, with agitators demanding immediate resignation from Chandy. Businessman Sreedharan Nair, who was allegedly cheated of Rs 40 lakh, had claimed he visited Chandy's office with accused Saritha S Nair, who introduced him as an investor.

"Sreedharan Nair came to me to give a representation with a group of people. He first launched a petition and there was no mention of me," Chandy said. The Chief Minister has come under fire after it was found that three of his staff members had close links with Saritha. One of his staff, Jopan, is behind bars in connection with the case while two others, who were in regular contact with Saritha, were sacked.

"We are treating this as a cheating case, a high level police team has already been appointed to look into it," the Chief Minister said.

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