People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 25

June 23, 2013





Fire Storm on Solar Scam; Govt on Verge of Collapse!


N S Sajith


DARK clouds of a political turmoil are hovering over Oommen Chandy’s future as the chief minister, as the kingpin of a solar plan scam involving several crores of rupees has revealed about her nexus with the chief minister and his colleagues. Sarita Nair, who runs this under-controversy solar plant and windmill firm, is said to have perpetrated frauds amounting to crores of rupees, and she has now revealed to the police that the chief minister and his ministers had helped her run the business (!) it has been leant that Sarita Nair, who is now in judicial custody, was called by and met the chief minister many a time. When the call records were made public, the chief minister removed his private secretary Tenny Joppen and gunman Salim Raj on June 14.


In the Kerala legislative assembly, home minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan informed that an Additional DGP was deputed to investigate the issue. The opposition has demanded that the chief minister should resign and that a judicial inquiry must be ordered.


Sarita Nair was arrested in the second week of June in a fraud case and remanded. The interrogation revealed that various big shots in the Congress party and the cabinet had been helping her from the very inception of her firm. Sarita, while in police custody, confessed that the chief minister had issued a letter to her firm and that this letter was used to woo the investors.


In the meanwhile, her husband and director of the Team Solar company, Biju Radhakrishnan, whom the police was searching, revealed that Sarita had indeed met the chief minister and some of the ministers including the former minister K B Ganesh Kumar. He said he too, along with his wife, had met the chief minister and that she had had illicit relations with Ganesh Kumar. He also added that Sarita and Ganesh spent much time in a hotel in Coimbatore.


Soon after it, central minister K C Venugopal confessed that he had met Sarita.


The revelations pouring out in the media regarding this scam tell us about the gigantic fraud committed by Sarita’s firm in the name of installing solar power plants. Previously, it was daily Deshabhimani and TV channel Kairali which had made the call records public. Other media organisations, which were reluctant to carry the stories initially, later felt compelled to carry the news.


CPI(M) state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan has demanded immediate resignation of the chief minister. In a statement he said that a judicial probe must also be ordered.


Opposition leader in Kerala assembly, V S Achuthandan, has also demanded the chief minister’s resignation and a judicial enquiry.


Over the preceding four days, when revelations about the links between the chief minister and the directors of this notorious and fraudulent solar plant firm --- Team Solar --- heaped up and when the mobile phone call records were made public, various individuals came forward with complaints against Sarita S Nair and her husband, Biju Radhakrishnan. Surprisingly, even though Biju Radhakrishnan is a proclaimed criminal and an absconder, he has frequently been giving telephonic interviews to news channels.


After the shocking revelations came out, the chief minister sought to outrightly deny his involvement; this he did in the assembly as well as in media. But when more revelations came up, he began to show reluctance to interact with the media.


Various organisations including the DYFI have organised black flag demonstrations in front of the chief minister at various places. Fearing a heightening of the protest, Oommen Chandy cancelled all his public functions in Puthuppali, his own constituency. In the meanwhile, KPCC spokesperson M M Hassan reacted that the chief minister would quit if the allegations were proved. Chandy’s arch rival and KPCC president, Ramesh Chennithala, took a clever position, saying that the opposition is in the habit of unnecessarily raking up issues.


After Biju Radhakrishanan asserted that he indeed had had one hour chat with the chief minister. This too put the chief minister in a quandary of new problems. While the opposition has decided to take up this issue in the assembly, youth organisations have planned protest marches to demand the chief minister’s resignation.




On June 13, 2013, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat came to visit Attappadi, an ill-fated tribal hamlet in Kerala which recently witnessed 43 children dying of malnutrition. Attappadi lies in the lap of a thick virgin forest in the Western Ghats and has been utterly neglected by the UDF government. A careful attempt made by the previous LDF government for comprehensive development of the area and to arouse confidence among the local people was abandoned by the UDF government soon after it came to power.


Along with AIDWA leaders like P K Srimathi, K K Shailaja, Dr T N Seema, P Satheedevi and C S Sujatha, Brinda Karat talked to the tribal people about the recent incidents of malnutrition death. The tribal women complained that they were deprived of all facilities including foodgrains through the public distribution system. “No free ration is distributed. No employment is given to us, not even the wages under the NREGA scheme,” these women told the CPI(M) leader.


Brinda Karat and an AIDWA team also visited the Agali government hospital where the doctors and other staff informed that they themselves pay for the medicine for those adivasis who are undergoing treatment, as the health department has failed to supply the medicines. Brinda Karat reacted that in the face of 43 reported deaths, the negligence of the government was nothing but shameful and criminal. While distributing blankets and foodgrains to the people in various colonies, she told that the CPI(M), AIDWA and other organisations would launch a struggle to highlight the dismal condition of this tribal area.


The UDF government has even stopped the free electricity supply, a project which was launched by the previous LDF government and had made Palakkad district fully electrified, Brinda said.


While talking to the media at Palakkad, she said the two years old UDF government in Kerala had dragged Attappadi into darkness. The relief announced by the central and state ministers is not reaching the common people, and the government had miserably failed to distribute nutritious food and medicines. It is doctors and others in Agali who are paying for medicines. The state government’s promise to supply 35 kg of foodgrains seem to be hollow. The NREGA programme has been completely stopped for the last four or five months and the arrears of the previous work have reached up to Rs 26 lakh. Brinda said the state government’s failure to implement the central government’s health projects would be conveyed to the central government.




On the proposal of a front comprising the JD(U), BJD and Trinamul Congress, CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat said on June 13 that the country now needs a Left and democratic alternative to fight against the neo-liberal policies of the Congress and the BJP. Such a strong alternative force must have to work to realise the goals like land reforms, self-reliance, secularism, strengthening of the public distribution system and the public sector undertakings, safety and empowerment of women, social justice and election reforms. He was inaugurating a programme, EMS Smriti, to commemorate the late Comrade E M S Namboodiripad, organised by Costford in Thrissur.


Karat said discussions have started on fronts aimed at elections but one has to discuss the policies of the UPA which we do not find any different from the policies of the BJP. He added that most of the parties trying to form a front now had collaborated with either of these two parties in the past.


The CPI(M) leader also said his party is not reluctant to have a tactical understanding with other parties, but at the same time it would keep striving for a Left and democratic alternative.


The situation today is that neo-liberal policies are creating acute imbalances in society, with corporate houses using these policies to loot the nation’s natural resources. Unemployment and inflation have increased. Exploitation of the working people has been accelerated. Social oppression of and atrocities against dalit and adivasi masses are on an increase. Minorities are facing suppression. It is obvious that a strong movement of the working class and other toilers is needed to overcome these negative developments, Karat said.