Chandy must quit, demands Achuthanandan

Thiruvananthapuram, June 16 (IANS) Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, facing heat over the links of his office staff with a woman arrested in a cheating case, got a further jolt with leader of opposition V.S. Achuthanandan Sunday demanding that he step down and order a judicial probe.

“His government has turned into a company that supports frauds, cheats and womanisers. Has there been a chief minister in Kerala like Chandy. It’s a shame… he has to order a judicial probe and quit office.

“He can’t escape by putting the onus of the present fraud on his staff members. We are going to raise this again and again in the assembly tomorrow (Monday) onwards,” Achuthanandan told reporters at his official residence Sunday.

The woman, Saritha S. Nair and her former live-in partner Biju Radhakrishnan, had formed a company ‘Team Solar’ that was engaged in erecting solar panels at offices and homes. They had managed to collect crores of rupees from influential people in the state.

Trouble started for Chandy after Nair was arrested June 3 following a complaint and, a few days later, a Communist Party of India-Marxist-backed TV channel came out with a list of calls made by Nair, which showd she had maintained close links with the office of Chandy, especially his personal staff members.

With the assembly in session, the Left opposition took it up in a big way and buckling under pressure, Chandy had to dismiss his personal assistant Teny Jopan and gunman Salim Raj, who was in regular contact with Nair.

State Congress president Ramesh Chennithala, however, told reporters that the Left opposition is trying to politicise the issue.

“A probe is on and they should wait for it and not make political capital out of this. If they are going to take this as a political issue, we will also do the same thing,” he said.

Meanwhile, a team of top police officials under Additional Director General of Police A. Hemachandran has been constituted by the government to probe the matter.

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