I've faced worse times, says Kerala CM

I've faced worse times, says Kerala CMThiruvananthapuram, July 17 : Though many think Oommen Chandy is passing through a turbulent phase in his four-decade-old political career, the Kerala chief minister says he has seen worse times.

Since last month, Chandy has been in the eye of a storm, facing flak from the opposition CPI-M for his alleged links with a "con-couple" who are now behind bars in a cheating case. The CPI-M has been baying for his resignation.

"This is nothing compared to the ruckus created by the CPI-M in the mid-1980s against me. During 1982 to 1987 when I was a minister, the CPI-M led by E. K. Nayanar and M. V. Raghavan foisted a fabricated case of selling forest wood on me," Chandy told IANS.

"To prove that I have done no wrong, I announced in the assembly that I would face a judicial probe. That was the last time in the state that a sitting high court judge was called to conduct the probe. By the end of our tenure, the judge submitted his report, in which my name has not even been mentioned once. I was not even called to testify," said Chandy.

Chandy has been representing the Puthupally assembly constituency since 1970 without ever tasting defeat. He has held practically every post in the government, from being a minister on numerous occasions as well as leader of opposition. This is his second tenure as chief minister.

"I have always moved with the people irrespective of what position I hold. People are my strength. They know that I will not let them down," he said.

"The present impasse is nothing but a political one and my hands are clean. I have done no wrong. Time will prove that. It is only a question of waiting a bit more," said Chandy. (IANS)

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