In another twist to the infamous Solar Scandal, the main accused Saritha S Nair has made startling revelation before the Justice Sivarajan Commission that she had paid bribe of Rs 1.10 crore to chief minister Oommen Chandy’s aide. She also deposed before the commission that she had given bribe to Minister of Power Aryadana Mohammaed’s personal assistant. The revelation from Saritha, one of the accused in the scandal, has however sent ripples across the polity of Kerala already with resignation of Chandy has been raised by the opposition.
On Wednesday, while deposing before the commission, Saritha said that Oommen Chandy’s former personal assistant Jikkumon Jacob had demanded a bribe to the tune of Rs Seven crore for the CM. He demanded, according to her, that the money should be handed over to CM in Delhi. As per the instruction, she handed over Rs 1.10 crore to Thomas Kuruvila, the close confidante and a personal staff to Chandy in Delhi, on 26 December 2012 evening. The money was handed over to Kuruvila when Chandy visited Delhi to take part in the National Development Council meeting. The rest Rs 80 lakh was given to Kuruvila at her house at Edappazhanji in Thiruvananthapuram. Saritha also told that she had talked with CM prior to the money transaction and the calls were made to him from a personal line. She also said that she met CM in person to get the approval for the solar project to be established with the help of ANERT and based on his advice that she met Power Minister Aryadan Mohammad at his resident.
The Minister’s staff demanded for Rs 2 crore bribe and she gave 40 lakh to the staff in two installments. First, she gave 25 lakh to Keshavan, Aryadan’s PA, and then Rs 15 lakh to the office staff. She also said that she had met the minister at his official residence, Manmohan Bunglow in Thiruvanathapuram.
Chief Minister Chandy rubbished the allegations made by Saritha. While talking to media as part of the routine media briefing , Chandy said in a reply to a question that a cheque of Rs 2 lakh that she had given for the CM’s relief fund itself bounced. Then how could she claim to have crores with her. He added that he is repeating the statement that he made with the Commission the other day that she has not benefitted a paisa from the government.
Will the people believe in her allegations? Asked Mr Chandy and said that she has no proof to further her claims. Minister of Power Aryadan Mohammad too denied the allegations.
Meanwhile, Saritha S Nair told media that anyone can question her statements for any contradiction. She said that she is an entrepreneur who is waiting for her business to start but the situation has gone to such an extent that she is now being labeled as a cheater in public.