Rahu-Ketu eating into Congress
It’s an old saying that misfortun do not come singly. Presently it seems all belligerent stars Rahu, Ketu, Shanischar seem to be targeting the Congress leaders. And it seems they prefer the VIPs rather than ordinary nobodys.
Apart from putting the Gandhis into the dock, they have had a go at the Chief Minister of Kerala Oommen Chandy and the former Chief Minister of Maharashtra Ashok Chavan, a great favourite of Rahul Gandhi. He is accused of being involved in the Adarsh Housing Scheme. It means along with him some top bureaucrats could get into a big trouble.
Meanwhile, a succession of disclosures against Chandy in a corruption scandal has left him precariously placed ahead of state elections. But he got a reprieve when a lower court’s order to register a police case or FIR against him in the swindle has been stopped by the Kerala High Court. “I am innocent… there is nothing to be believed about,” said Chandy.
He has accused disgruntled bar owners of propping up false allegations against him because his government has introduced plans to turn Kerala into a dry state within 10 years.
The Chief Minister and his party have suggested the anti-prohibition lobby is egging on Saritha Nair, accused of duping industrialists by promising them cheap solar panels that were never delivered. Ms Nair made startling allegations against the Chief Minister in her testimony before a retired judge investigating the solar scam. With her partner, Biju Radhakrishnan, Ms Nair dropped Mr Chandy’s name and flaunted her access to some of his top aides to land valuable clean energy deals.
Ms Nair was arrested in 2013 and then granted bail, and has been making damaging statements against the Chief Minister in her testimony. Ms Nair has said that she paid Rs. 1.9 crore as bribes for the Chief Minister to his aides. Chandy has said that claim is baseless, and has pointed out that he suspended three of his aides who seemed to have close links with Ms Nair. In its defence of the Chief Minister, the Congress is referring to earlier media interviews of Ms Nair in which she claimed that the opposition Left offered her Rs.10 crore to make statements against Mr Chandy. The Left has rejected that claim.
The Chief Minister gave his side of the story over 11 hours to the judge investigating the scam. He was cross-examined. Never before has a Kerala Chief Minister been questioned by a judicial commission.
The opposition has been holding daily protests outside the government headquarters in the state capital of Thiruvananthapuram. A leaked audio tape has added to the ruling party’s trouble.
A Congress spokesperson can be heard advising Saritha Nair to “play safe” during her cross-examination. The spokesperson has denied that he was trying to coach Ms Nair.