Thursday, July 18, 2013

What they are talking about in Kerala

By John Cheeran
Congress in Kerala is in all sorts of trouble. Group war is raging in the party and the CPM-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) is seeking the ouster of chief minister Oommen Chandy. The saving grace is that CPM itself is divided over bringing down the United Democratic Front (UDF) government thanks to the internecine rivalry between party secretary Pinarayi Vijayan and opposition leader V S Achuthanandan, who is now seen as the last communist in Asia, including China.
Consider the charges against Chandy. It has been alleged that Chandy is party to a series of frauds committed by a private company, Team Solar, which swindled people of money to the tune of Rs 10 crore (the official figure quoted by Chandy is Rs 1 crore).  Serious among them is an accusation levelled by Sreedharan Nair, a provincial Congress leader and industrialist, who says he had received an assurance from Chandy that Team Solar is a venture that needs to be encouraged, which made him part with Rs 40 lakh to Saritha S Nair, a femme fatale associated with the solar firm.
Chandy says Sreedharan Nair had parted with his money a week before he met him last July. All Malayalis are now debating whether the femme fatale, Saritha S Nair, was with the Nair Who Had The Money, when he met the chief minister. Chandy, who streams visuals from the chief minister’s office live (Is he the world’s first politician to do so? Will have to check Limca Book of records) says visuals of his meeting with Nair are not available. And the incorruptible Chandy has now appointed a panel of Malayalam speaking Sherlock Holmes to retrieve the lost visuals, sift through them and spot whether there was a sexy Nair, apart from the Money Nair. 
Rivalry among Congress A and I groups has ensured that details were leaked to the media about extensive telephone conversations that Saritha had with chief minister’s office, his assistants and an entire spectrum of Congress leadership in the state, including home minister, members of Parliament and Kerala Pradesh Congress chief Ramesh Chennithala. And remember Kerala’s chief minister did not have a cell phone in his name till now and has been making use of his flunkeys’s phones to stay connected!  
There is no denying that both Saritha and her partner, Biju Radhakrishnan, had a criminal past, before they hit upon the ruling Congress establishment with a seemingly credible and fashionable scheme of solar energy at homes and industrial units.

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