LDF accuses Chandy of shielding staff under scanner

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Oommen Chandy
Thiruvananthapuram, June 13: For the second consecutive day, the CPI(M) led LDF opposition today targeted Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in the Kerala Assembly over the telephone calls allegedly made by his Personal Assistant to a woman arrested recently for serious financial offences.

Staging a walk-out in the house, Opposition Deputy Leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan accused Chandy of shielding his PA Joppan, who had allegedly made a large number of calls to one Saritha Nair, arrested earlier this month in connection with several financial cheating cases.

The opposition demanded to know whether Chandy was ready to order a judicial inquiry into the matter since his office had come under the shadow of suspicion.

Responding to the charge, the Chief Minister said a special police team would be set up to investigate the cases against the woman. The probe would also ascertain if his PA had intervened in the matter.

"I don't want to protect anyone. But I would not sacrifice anyone to save my skin. Let us wait for the investigation", he said.

Chandy said since the opposition had taken the matter seriously, he would seek an interim report from the police and decide whether action should be taken against the PA.

The Chief Minister said most of the cases against Saritha Nair pertained to cheating people promising that she would secure them solar energy distribution agencies using her influence within and outside the state.

Earlier, seeking an adjournment on the issue, Raju Abraham (CPI-M) alleged that frequent phone calls had been made by the PA on the days preceding Saritha's arrest. Apart from his personal mobile, the official phones at the Chief Minister's office and residence were also used for making calls to the woman by the PA.


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