Solar scam: Oommen Chandy refuses a lie-detector test

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Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy says no to polygraph or lie-detector test while deposing for nearly 11 hours before a judicial commission on what is being called the “solar scam”.

“Why do I need a lie-detector test? What I have said is the truth, with proof and in accordance to my conscience. What accusation are you talking about? Everything has been responded to,” the chief minister told the media.

During the statement, Mr Chandy refused a polygraph test when asked to undergo one by the lawyer of Biju Radhakrishnan, the main accused in the case.

With assembly elections due in Kerala this year, Mr Chandy is seen as making a strong political statement by deposing; he had requested an early hearing and the Kochi-based commission held the deposition at a government guest house in Kerala capital Thiruvananthapuram.

The lengthy process began on Monday morning and continued till late in the night with a one-hour break for lunch and a short 10-minute break in the evening.

In the state elections, the Opposition is expected to use the solar scam as a key weapon to attack Mr Chandy and the United Democratic Front that his Congress party leads in Kerala.

Several businessmen have alleged that they were duped by Biju Radhakrishnan and his partner Saritha Nair, who promised solar panels at cheap rates and used Mr Chandy’s name to gain contracts.

Three personal staff members of the chief minister were suspended after investigations, but Mr Chandy has denied any direct link.

“I have not patronised or backed Team Solar in any way. This alleged scam has not cost the exchequer even one rupee,” the Chief Minister told the commission.

This is the first time that a Chief Minister in Kerala has appeared before a judicial commission and the Left has accused Mr Chandy of diminishing the position he holds.

“This is the first time a chief minister is deposing…It is a shame for Kerala,” Kaanam Rajendran, the CPI state secretary told media in a statement.

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