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CBI Takes Over Solar Case, Congress Alleges Political Conspiracy

Alleging “political conspiracy”, the Congress on Tuesday slammed Kerala’s ruling CPI(M) for handing over to CBI the investigation into cases against its senior leaders including former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and AICC general secretary K C Venugopal in connection with the alleged sexual exploitation of a prime accused woman in the sensational solar scam that rocked the state during party-led UDF rule. Besides Chandy and Venugopal, party MPs Hibi Eden and Adoor Prakash, MLA A P Anil Kumar, and BJP leader A P Abdullakutty are the accused in the six cases. The case against Abdullakutty was registered in 2014 when he was a Congress MLA from Kannur. He later joined the BJP.

Attacking the CPI(M)-led government after the CBI took over the investigation into the cases today, state Congress chief K Sudhakaran said it was Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s misconception that Congress leaders could be eliminated on the basis of the statement of a woman accused in several criminal cases. Describing the solar case as the biggest political manhunt in Kerala’s history, Sudhakaran alleged that the “politically motivated probe” into the case is the result of the nexus between Vijayan and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Kannur MP claimed that there was no evidence against the party leaders in the case and three separate teams of police, which examined the case, had abandoned it. In his reaction, Chandy said he was not scared of the CBI probe into the case.

Noting that the Left government which investigated the case during its last five-year rule had not taken any action against them, Chandy said they did not move the court seeking bail even after registering cases against them under non-bailable provisions. Talking to reporters in Malappuram, Venugopal said he and other party leaders named in the case have no fear as no crime had been committed.

“This is part of a political conspiracy”, he alleged. The AICC general secretary said the case was handed over to the CBI just ahead of the polls held to the state assembly in April this year. The state police probed the case for five years but could not find a single evidence against them, he said.

The cases against the six, including Chandy, were registered over the last several years and investigated by the Crime Branch of the Kerala Police based on a complaint by the woman, an accused in the multi-crore solar panel scam during the UDF government, that she was sexually exploited by them in 2012. The CPI-M-led Kerala government had recommended a CBI enquiry into the cases earlier this year.

The Congress then had dubbed the move as “politically motivated”, saying the CPI(M)-led government could not find anything against the party leaders and took the decision as elections were around the corner.

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