Till a few days ago, Saritha S. Nair used to speak highly about you. Why such a sudden turnaround ?
Of late, Kerala is witnessing an unholy alliance of losers. This camp of losers comprises a section of bar hotel owners, who want to open the bars shut down by the government. Saritha S. Nair is involved in 33 cases of cheating, and is desperately seeking support for settling the cases. And then there is the CPI(M), which lost public support following its involvement in the murder of T.P. Chandrasekharan and the Lavalin case. All three have now joined hands to attempt a final salvo at the UDF before the assembly election that is due in a couple of months.
Is there a connection between the bar bribery scandal and the solar scam?
The judicial commission inquiring into the solar scam will look into all allegations and I am sure that truth will come out. However, the government will probe certain developments that took place outside the judicial commission. Both bar hotel owners and the solar scam accused are heavy losers as a result of government decisions.
What about Saritha's charges that someone from the CPI(M) had offered her Rs 10 crore for targeting the government?
This was something that she disclosed in an interview that appeared in a national magazine in its April 2014 issue. Since the publication of that interview, till this day, the leaders of the CPI(M), including those at its helm like Pinarayi Vijayan, have chosen to remain silent despite repeated queries by the media. Their silence is highly suspicious.
The UDF came to power with a majority of just two members. From the very first day onwards, the opposition has been trying to topple the government through overt and covert means. But, the government never bothered about its thin majority and went ahead with its programmes. We also won all the three byelections and recorded a credible victory in the Lok Sabha elections. So it is no wonder that the LDF has resorted to such deals with the solar scam accused.
Is the Congress united in handling the crisis caused by the solar and bar scams?
The UDF has repeatedly stated its unified stand on both the issues. We have taken appropriate steps and followed the right course of action within the prescribed laws of the land. The high command knows very well that these are baseless allegations on the eve of the assembly elections. The Congress party has been facing these baseless allegations together and there is no discordant note in the UDF.
The LDF camp is in a desperate mood and have even tried to woo UDF partners with various offers. And they could not succeed in that mission. They are now solely depending on the wild allegations being levelled against the government by the affected parties.
Do you think that the Left Front will reverse the liquor policy, if given a chance?
The LDF has already sent out signals that if they get an opportunity, they would reopen the bar hotels. Kerala may again drown in liquor. Closing of bar hotels has been one of the most farsighted decisions taken by the current government. The UDF government has decided to close down the bars because Kerala was noted for its high rate of liquor consumption, accident and suicide rates. After the bars were shut down, consumption of liquor came down drastically by 26 per cent. And, it also resulted in a decline in accidents and suicides.
What do you think about the prospects of a CPI(M)-Congress understanding in West Bengal?
In Bengal, the CPI(M) has realised its mistakes and is now looking forward to corrective measures and a new order. The Bengal Congress and the AICC will have to take a decision taking into account the current political realities in the state. We are not at all bothered about it.
There have been reports that the Centre might ask for a report from the governor on the political turmoil in Kerala.
The UDF government has been elected for five years and we will complete the full term. There have been many hurdles, but we overcame all of those with people's support. We have delivered what we have promised. And, I am sure that people are happy with the kind of effort and the hard work that we have put in for the state.