Thiruvananthapuram: The Pinarayi Vijayan government hijacked the pre-poll narrative by notifying a CBI investigation into the solar case in which former chief minister Oommen Chandy and some of his ministerial and party colleagues are alleged to have sexually exploited an entrepreneur women in lieu of government approvals.
When the victim recently approached the chief minister with a request to hand over the case to the CBI, little was expected of it as the case has been ‘over-investigated’ but with no significant progress.
The sensational case was the main theme in the campaign for the 2016 assembly elections, which swept the Left Democratic Front government led by Vijayan to power.
But after having voted to power, the LDF government achieved pretty little in taking the case forward as several investigation teams closed their probe as they failed to find enough ground to prosecute the accused.
Besides Oommen Chandy, the accused include former ministers Adoor Prakash, Anil Kumar, AICC general secretary K C Venugopal, BJP national vice-president Abdullakutty, who was at that time with the UDF, and others.
Also stands accused is Jose K Mani of Kerala Congress-M, whose switching sides to the LDF helped it to score a significant victory in the recently-held local body polls, but there is no word whether CBI would investigate him as well. The victim has, however, claimed that she stands by her accusation against Jose K Mani.
Reacting to the decision to leave the case to the CBI, Oommen Chandy wondered what the government was doing during the last five years when multiple FIRs had already been registered. He said he was least perturbed by the development as it was a political decision and he had nothing to fear.
It may be pointed out that the government decision comes even as the Congress High Command has named Chandy to head the election committee, charged with overseeing the entire process, including candidate selection and campaign, in preference to leader of opposition Ramesh Chennithala.
It is also pointed out on behalf of the opposition that the government is sitting over a case in which the victim is an accused in a cheating case involving collection of money from employment hopefuls.
Congress party described the move as politically motivated and said that the people of the state would give a befitting reply to this in the assembly elections.
KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran asserted that the Pinarayi government move was prompted by the fear that LDF was set to lose the election. It was deplorable that the government has stooped to this level, he added.