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Solar Scam: kerala CM says Sexual Assault Charges Baseless

In a new twist in the solar scam, accused Saritha S. Nair had, in a purported letter, alleged that she was sexually abused by Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. Mr. Chandy dismissed the charge as “totally baseless” and claimed it was a conspiracy. “This is the last ditch effort to sabotage my government,” Chandy told reporters here on Sunday after a leading Malayalam news channel released the 25-page letter that Saritha had allegedly written in 2013. Saritha had been in police custody following her arrest in the solar panel scam in 2013.

Saritha told the TV channel that she had written the letter while she was in police custody and that she had wanted to give the letter to the Magistrate but could not do so. PTI could not verify the authenticity of the purported letter, in which she alleged that she was sexually abused at the CM's official residence. “It is totally baseless. She had earlier told the media that my approach towards her was like a father....There is a poll-related conspiracy behind this,” Chandy told reporters, after the news channel started telecasting the contents of the purported letter.

Referring to his 14-hour long deposition before a judicial commission probing the solar scam, the Chief Minister said Saritha's lawyer, who was present while he was cross-examined, had not hinted about any such allegations. “As you are aware, there were many attempts to sabotage my government. This is the latest one. If there is at least one per cent truth in it, what will be people's reaction? No one will believe it,” Chandy said.

The Chief Minister said there are “forces” behind these allegations. “I don't see anything political behind it. Some other forces have worked against my government,” Chandy said, in an apparent reference to the liquor lobby in the State. Saritha told the channel that she was ashamed and hence, she had not mentioned anything about the letter while deposing before the judicial commission. The solar panel scam pertains to alleged duping of several persons to the tune of crores of rupees by Saritha and her accomplice Biju Radhakrishnan by offering solar panel solutions.

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