No question of change in Kerala leadership, says Antony

Kochi, July 14 (IANS) Defence Minister A.K. Antony, speaking to reporters here Sunday, ruled out a change in the leadership of the party or the government in Kerala in the wake of the recent solar scam.

"Let me make it very clear that there is not going to be any change in leadership here. It's quite natural that controversies break out in governance. The need of the hour is to learn from what has happened and be very vigilant," Antony said, adding that he was no judge, and would not issue a verdict on the conduct of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and his government.

When reporters prodded him, Antony only said: "I am not a judge to hand out a verdict."

Chandy has been facing an onslaught from the Left opposition as well as from sections of the media, as print and TV channels have been relentlessly airing views and news on what has come to be termed the "solar scam".

"The CPI-M should be patient, as a probe is currently on. In all fairness, they should wait till it is over. What they are doing now is not correct," Antony told reporters.

The Kerala government has ordered a probe into the dealings of Saritha S. Nair and her live-in partner Biju Radhakrishnan, who are currently under arrest for having defrauded several investors on the promise of providing solar panels at subsidised rates. The telephone call records of Saritha Nair showed that she had been in regular and frequent touch with members of the chief minister's personal staff.

While one member of the chief minister's staff has been arrested in this connection, two others have been sacked. The opposition has held that Chandy and his family are involved in the scam.

Chandy faces flak not only from the opposition and the media, but also from detractors within his own party, some of whom have maintained a low profile, reluctant to come to the chief minister's defence.

"This is the time when the party should not only defend but also launch a counter attack. Sadly, though, neither is happening," said a top Congress leader.

The Left opposition has taken the fight against Chandy from inside the assembly to the streets, and called for a shutdown last Wednesday (July 10).

"It's strange that while the loss due to the fraud by the arrested couple is Rs.10 crore, the Left shutdown saw the state losing Rs.1,000 crore," Chandy said, citing estimates of the Kerala Chamber of Commerce.

Ever since the scam surfaced, Chandy has maintained that he has nothing to do with it. He has also repeatedly assured reporters and the opposition that none of the guilty will escape the law.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

On Now: Kolkata vs Bangalore

On Now: Kolkata vs Bangalore

IPL 7, GAME 11—Bangalore bowl, Murali in, still no Gayle. KKR bring in Umesh, Lynn. More »

Kolkata bowling vs Bangalore batting might

Kolkata bowling vs Bangalore batting might

The likely return of Gayle will boost Bangalore, but the result could be determined by Kolkata's bowlers. More »

Boycotting IPL will not save cricket

Boycotting IPL will not save cricket

Boycotting the IPL as a means of protest against the grime in the game may not yield the desired results. More »

Gambhir a knock away from striking form - KKR coach

Gambhir a knock away from striking form - KKR coach

Gautam made an eight-ball duck in the opening game against Mumbai and in the second game against Delhi, he lasted only half those balls. More »

Rivals say Srini group delaying BCCI special general meeting

Rivals say Srini group delaying BCCI special general meeting

The group opposed to Srinivasan alleged that since BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel belongs to the president’s group, he was intentionally delaying the SGM… More »

April 24: A legend is born

As Sachin Tendulkar turns 41 - here's a look at some offbeat moments from the Master Blaster's innings. More »

Jadeja spins out Rajasthan in close chase

Jadeja spins out Rajasthan in close chase

IPL 7, GAME 10—Chennai beat Rajasthan by 7 runs after last-over scare. More »

Cleaning up the game starts with fans

Cleaning up the game starts with fans

... because, as recent events reveal, the BCCI has little intention of doing it. More »

SL in 'difficult place' after Farbrace exit

SL in 'difficult place' after Farbrace exit

Sri Lanka depart for assignments in Ireland and England in two weeks, and Sanath Jayasuriya suggested Marvan Atapattu would be interim head coach for those… More »

Vithanage, Priyanjan get T20 call-ups

Vithanage, Priyanjan get T20 call-ups

Herath has been rested, while the team will be without the veteran pair of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, who retired from T20 internationals… More »

Chandimal axed as T20 captain

Chandimal axed as T20 captain

Sri Lanka's cricket selectors on Wednesday sacked Dinesh Chandimal as Twenty20 captain and replaced him with Lasith Malinga, while Angelo Mathews was… More »

'BCCI should have picked panel with care'

'BCCI should have picked panel with care'

Dalmiya said that it was the first time that the BCCI had been faced with a situation where the apex court had hauled up the Board and it should have acted… More »

Farbrace is England's assistant coach

Farbrace is England's assistant coach

The ECB continued the restructuring of the England coaching set-up on Wednesday by announcing the appointment of Paul Farbrace as assistant coach. More »

SC asks Mudgal committee to continue

SC asks Mudgal committee to continue

Mukul Mudgal has communicated to the court his willingness to take up the investigation and has been asked to specify the terms and modalities on April… More »

Sri Lanka players resolve pay dispute

Sri Lanka players resolve pay dispute

The pay dispute between Sri Lanka Cricket and its 13 contracted players ended on Wednesday when the latter agreed to accept 10 percent of the participation… More »

Hope to be fit for next game - Pietersen

Hope to be fit for next game - Pietersen

With two heavy defeats at the hands of Bangalore and Chennai, Daredevils currently languish near the bottom of the table. More »

'SC decision could hurt BCCI's status'

'SC decision could hurt BCCI's status'

The Supreme Court prefers that the Justice Mudgal panel further investigate the IPL corruption scandal. More »

Mudgal panel drops bombshell in court

Mudgal panel drops bombshell in court

The Mukul Mudgal probe committee dropped a bombshell in the Supreme Court on Tuesday by making a sensational claim that it was forced to stop audio recording… More »

Perfect Punjab trounce Hyderabad

Perfect Punjab trounce Hyderabad

IPL7, GAME 9—Maxwell (95, 43b), Balaji (4-13) set up 72-run win. More »

Have the ECB played an unfair game?

Have the ECB played an unfair game?

Money talks, but it is in light of this ICC shakeup that the ECB's act of soliciting of another team's coach deteriorates from free-market aggression to… More »

Farbrace quits for England post

Farbrace quits for England post

He will assist Peter Moores who was unveiled as the new England coach on Saturday. More »

Moin appointed to manage Pakistan team

Moin appointed to manage Pakistan team

Pakistan on Monday reappointed Moin Khan as chief selector and manager of the national team, a week after fellow former captain Rashid Latif turned down… More »

Chennai smash Delhi for first win

Chennai smash Delhi for first win

IPL7, MATCH 8—Raina-led middle order, superlative catching give CSK a 93-run win. More »

'BCCI reputation lowest in 80 years'

'BCCI reputation lowest in 80 years'

The former BCCI president says he was "disillusioned" by the happenings at the emergent working committee meeting on Sunday. More »