Congress Leaders Clash Over Solar Panel Disclosures, Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan and K C Joseph Engage in Heated Exchange
Congress leaders Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan and K C Joseph found themselves at odds over the party’s response to the recent disclosures related to the Justice G Sivarajan Commission’s investigation into the solar scam that had caused embarrassment to the Oommen Chandy regime a decade ago.
The disagreement emerged after Joseph commented that Congress leaders had not been vocal enough in addressing the recent revelations made by CPI leader C Divakaran and former Director General of Police A Hemachandran, which were seen as favorable to the Oommen Chandy administration.
In response, Thiruvanchoor countered Joseph’s statement, highlighting that several senior Congress leaders, including A K Antony, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president K Sudhakaran, and all-India general secretary K C Venugopal, had already made sharp remarks regarding the disclosures.
Thiruvanchoor emphasized the respect and esteem that Congress leaders hold for Oommen Chandy, referring to him as a “common treasure” of the party and noting the collaborative work done with trust and affection. He expressed his desire not to ignite a conflict concerning Chandy.
Furthermore, Thiruvanchoor revealed that he was one of the five leaders recommended for action by the Solar Commission, which accused him of providing undue support to Oommen Chandy. He pointed out that none of the leaders currently criticizing him were mentioned in the Solar Commission’s report.
Thiruvanchoor reaffirmed the Congress party’s trust in Oommen Chandy, asserting that all factions had supported him unanimously during the solar case. He also reiterated his opposition to the appointment of Justice Sivarajan to the inquiry commission.
Recalling his removal from the position of Home Minister in the aftermath of the solar case, Thiruvanchoor questioned if anything had changed since then.
The recent disclosures included former DGP Hemachandran’s statement that he had not informed Thiruvanchoor, the then Home Minister, about the arrest of Tenny Joppen, a member of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy’s staff. This arrest had sparked a significant controversy.
Joseph claimed that Chandy had learned about the arrest from the media, while Thiruvanchoor defended himself by stating that if he had removed Hemachandran from the solar investigation team for the arrest without his knowledge, the media and opposition would have launched a fierce campaign against him.
Thiruvanchoor revealed that he had questioned Hemachandran about the arrest, ensuring that it was based on substantial evidence and proper investigation, to which Hemachandran had responded positively. Thiruvanchoor also stated that no complaints had been raised against the police team handling the solar case.
Following Thiruvanchoor’s removal as Home Minister, Ramesh Chennithala assumed the portfolio.
In response to the disclosures, Kanam Rajendran, the state secretary of the CPI, expressed skepticism about all the findings of the solar commission. He dismissed Hemachandran’s memoir as just another retired police officer’s account and doubted the truthfulness of Divakaran’s statements, suggesting they were made to boost book sales.
KPCC chief K Sudhakaran condemned the recent statements, alleging that the CPM and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan were engaged in a witch-hunt against Oommen Chandy and UDF leaders.
Opposition Leader V D Satheesan criticized the solar commission, claiming that the disclosures only served to expose its fraudulent nature.