Targetting Chief Minister Oommen Chandy over the solar scam, Communist Party of India-Marxist-led Left Democratic Front opposition created an uproar in the Kerala assembly, which resumed its sitting on Monday after a fortnight's interlude.
After trading charges with the treasury benches for nearly 90 minutes during zero hour, slogan-shouting and placard-wielding LDF members trooped into the well of the House forcing Speaker G Karithikeyan to adjourn the sitting for the day.
Stoutly refuting the LDF charge that the investigation in the case was being sabotaged to forestall an inquiry into his role, Chandy said the probe had been progressing well without any intervention from the government.
Seeking leave for an adjournment on the issue, Deputy Leader of Opposition, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan (CPI-M) said the Government's move to refer the case to CBI was not acceptable.
Referring to recent developments in the case including the arrest of television actress and danseuse Shalu Menon and telephone talks of some of the ministers with scam accused Sarith Nair, Balakrishnan said all these pointed to the inevitability of a judicial probe with the Chief Minister stepping down.
Mentioning reports in a section of media that there had been attempts to tamper with the statement filed in the Magistrate Court at Pathanamthitta by one Sreedharan Nair against the accused, the CPI-M leader alleged this was done with the intention of sparing Chandy being brought in the ambit of the investigation.
Home Minister Thiruvanchur Radkahrishnan maintained that this issue could not be discussed in the House as it would amount to subjudice.
Chandy, however, said the opposition was free to examine all the related records in the case, except the statement of the petitioner that was under consideration of the court, and verify whether there had been any tampering in them to drop his name.
He charged the opposition with creating a smoke-screen as the probe was proceeding in an effective and impartial manner. The opposition's rejection of the idea of referring the case to the CBI itself showed that the police probe was on the right track, he said.
The LDF members also wielded enlarged photographs of Thiruvanchur Radkharishnan at Shalu's newly-built home during the house-warming.
As the government turned down the demand for an adjournment on the issue, Opposition Leader V S Achuthanandan made it clear that the LDF would not compromise on the demand for Chandy's resignation.