More protests in Kerala assembly over solar scam

Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 14 (IANS) There was more ruckus in the Kerala assembly on Monday over the ‘solar scam’ with the Left opposition forcing an early adjournment of the house after laying siege to Speaker N. Sakthan’s podium.

The opposition was agitated because its demand for an adjournment motion to discuss alleged threats by the government against the commission investigating the scam was disallowed by Speaker Sakthan.

After Question Hour, Sakthan told the house that rather than allowing an adjournment motion he would allow the issue to be raised as the first submission.

Rejecting Sakthan’s pleas, the Left opposition continued to shout slogans and also surrounded his podium, which forced him to wind up the listed business of the day and adjourn the house for the day.

The angry protests continued even after the adjournment with the opposition squatting in front of the speaker’s office.

The sit-in was called off after Sakthan met the opposition leaders.

Later, Leader of Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan told reporters that the speaker had expressed his “helplessness” in the matter.

“We are raising a valid demand, but the Speaker is not allowing us as he is under duress from the government. We will continue to fight for our rights and this will continue in the coming days too,” he said.

The opposition alleged that Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala had used the police to threaten the solar scam probe commission after media reports that Director General of Police T.P. Senkumar had called the secretary of the panel while Biju Radhakrishnan, the prime accused in the case, was being taken to Coimbatore.

Denying the allegations, Chennithala said the DGP called up the commission only because the police wanted to provide additional security to prevent the possibility of the accused escaping.

The media reported that Biju Radhakrishnan was taken to Coimbatore to retrieve a video CD which supposedly contained some private pictures of the second accused Saritha Nair along with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and two of his cabinet colleagues.

Both Nair and Radhakrishnan are accused of cheating investors by promising to supply solar panels worth crores of rupees. There are many other cases of cheating registered against them.

The Rs.7 crore solar panel scam rocked the Chandy government in 2013. Three staff members alleged to have links with Saritha Nair were later sacked by Chandy.

While Saritha Nair is out on bail, Radhakrishnan is yet to get bail as he is also accused in a case relating to the murder of his wife.

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