Tuesday March 19, 2019
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Solar Scam: New footage shows accused lawyer make statement against Kerala CM

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 Thiruvananthapuram: The opposition CPI-M on Friday, again demanded Chief Minister Oommen Chandy’s resignation, after a TV channel broadcast footage of a lawyer accused for the solar scam, making a statement on Chandy and a few of his cabinet colleagues.

The latest development comes a day after the two main accused in the infamous solar scam – Saritha Nair and her live-in partner Biju Radhakrishnan – were sentenced to three years in jail, in a cheating case and fined Rs.1.20 crore, by a court in Pathanamthitta.

On Friday morning, a TV channel aired footage shot on a spycam, in which Nair’s counsel Feny Balakrishnan is allegedly seen and heard saying, that Chandy, a few of his cabinet colleagues and other senior Congress leaders had given money to Nair to settle her cases.

CPI-M state secretary, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan told reporters, that Chandy should quit. “In the wake of the fresh revelations against Chandy, his cabinet colleague  and Revenue Minister, Adoor Prakash, and former Congress legislator, Thampanoor Ravi – who according to the advocate, has been an intermediary in handing money to Nair – a fresh case should be registered and Chandy should quit,” said Balakrishnan, ahead of the Aruvikara assembly segment by-election which is due on June 27.

“This is the first time I am hearing of the new footage. Nothing of this sort has ever happened. After Thursday’s court verdict, some people are unhappy and hence new things have started to come out,” Chief Minister, Oommen Chandy said. “All along, the media had been saying that the accused used a letter written by me; but the court has said it was a forged letter. But many in the media ignored this point. Is this ethical journalism?” he asked.

The chief minister said that the court’s verdict on Thursday was “a victory for the Congress government”. He said that the instant case had surfaced during the rule of earlier Left government. “They never did anything and dismissed the case as insignificant. But our government took it to its logical conclusion and the accused have now been sentenced,” said Chandy.

Meanwhile, angry youth activists of the CPI-M shouted slogans against Prakash in Kannur, and demanded his resignation from the state cabinet.

There are numerous cases of cheating registered against Saritha Nair and Radhakrishnan. Both are accused of cheating many investors by promising to supply them with solar panels worth millions of rupees. The Rs.7 crore solar panel scam surfaced in 2013, and rocked the Oommen Chandy government as three of his staff members were found to have links with Nair. The three were sacked by Chandy. While Nair is out on bail in similar cases, Radhakrishnan is yet to get bail as he is an accused in a murder case as well. (IANS)

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Kerala Government Decides to Revise The List of Women Who Prayed at Sabarimala

The list of 51 women is not part of an affidavit but only referred to by the state government counsel in his arguments. Soon the list was highlighted in the media

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Image Source: Wikipedia Commons

Stung by widespread criticism over the numerous errors in the list of women who prayed at the Sabrimala temple, the Kerala government has decided to re-prepare the list.

A counsel of state government had presented the list in the Supreme Court on Friday, which reportedly had discrepancies in the age and names of women. The list was taken from the records of the online system, through which pilgrims register for having “darshan”.

The row erupted over flaws in the actual age of some of the 51 women, whom the counsel had referred to in the list as “banned” — on account of they being of menstruating age group of 10 to 50 years — who prayed at the temple this season.

State police chief Loknath Behera on Saturday asked senior officials to revise the list, which included even the name of men, besides several of the women above 50.

State Devasom (temples) Minister Kadakampally Surendran told the media that his department has no role in the preparation of the list, while the president of the Travancore Devasom Board – custodian of the temple, A. Padmakumar said they are not responsible for this as they do not prepare statistics of the pilgrims in the temple.

Kanam Rajendran, state secretary of the Communist Party of India – the second biggest ally of the ruling Pinarayi Vijayan government, said the entire responsibility of what has happened lies with the state government.

Sabarimala
Kerala to revise list of women who prayed at Sabarimala.

But the Industries Minister E.P. Jayarajan, the closest aide of Vijayan, defended him by saying that it is not just 51 women, but so many women have had “darshan” at the temple.

Kanaka Durga and Bindu Ammini, both in the “banned” age group of 10 to 50 years, prayed at the Sabarimala temple.

It was after they approached the apex court seeking security for having safe “darshan” that a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari directed the state government to arrange adequate protection for them.

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The list of 51 women is not part of an affidavit but only referred to by the state government counsel in his arguments. Soon the list was highlighted in the media.

“This goof-up reveals the abject failure of the way Vijayan is running the state,” said state BJP president P.S. Sreedharan Pillai.  (IANS)