Cong rejects charge of Venugopal's involvement in sex scandal

By PTI Published on Nov 11, 2017 10:17 AM IST

Bengaluru: The Congress in Karnataka rejected the BJP's charge that AICC general secretary and State-in-charge of party affairs K C Venugopal was involved in a sex scandal linked to the solar scam in Kerala.

Venugopal's name figured in the letter written by accused Saritha S Nair and it was part of the Justice G Sivarajan Commission report, tabled in the Kerala Assembly yesterday.

The report ahead of the Assembly polls in Karnataka early next year has embarrassed the State Congress, with its principal rival BJP raising the issue. "Venugopal is facing serious charges. Such people should not come to the State. They should be recalled (by the party)," State BJP general secretary Arvind Limbavali said in Mangaluru.

Karnataka Congress chief G Parameshwara said Venugopal had denied the charge many times and that it was a four-and- half-year old case. Noting that the report has also been questioned, he said "the accused, the lady (Saritha) has again raised this issue."

He said the woman had gone to court demanding a CBI probe, but the Kerala High Court had rejected the application, saying that the case is a political gimmick.

The Commission has indicted former chief minister Oommen Chandy along with his personal office staff in the multi-crore solar panel scam, holding they all had "assisted" Saritha in "cheating" customers. Venugopal has described the charge as false and fabricated, while Chandy has maintained that he has not done anything wrong.

The "solar scam" had rocked the Chandy government before it lost power in May 2016 after reports surfaced in June 2013 that three of the chief minister's office staff were involved in alleged duping of several persons of crores of rupees by Saritha and her accomplice Biju Radhakrishnan by offering solar panel solutions.

The report also includes details of the controversial letter written by Saritha on 19 July, 2013, in which she had levelled serious sexual and corruption charges against a dozen Congress leaders, including State and union ministers and two senior IPS officers.