Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday slammed Central law enforcement agencies for using the UAE gold smuggling case as a cover to destabilise the State government.
The government would legally and politically counter the jurisdictional overreach of the Central agencies, he said.
Mr. Vijayan’s criticism of the Central agencies appeared to be the precursor of a major political campaign to counter anti-government propaganda sparked by the multiple probes.
It also signalled the start of a protracted legal battle over the limitations of Central authority and rights of States.
The agencies had attempted to usurp the watchdog role of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India by seeking the receipts and expenditure of various flagship programmes.
The agencies had impeded governance by asking officials to turn up with records that do not pertain to their investigations. They acted as if they were regulators of State governments.
The agencies had sought information on Life Mission and K-Phone projects.
The law limited Enforcement Directorate’s authority to investigating money laundering cases. It did not task the agency with vetting State governments. The ED was not a constitutionally mandated “checks and balances” monitoring agency.
The Central agencies had violated the founding tenets of federalism. They had infringed on the rights of the State. They displayed a colonial mindset, he said.
Their investigative overreach had demoralised Civil Servants. The agencies were judgemental in their approach and not judicious as expected of them.
Central investigation agencies behaved in a scripted manner. They seemed intent on denying the poor in Kerala free modern housing and lakhs of households, affordable high-speed internet.
The agencies were working to the advantage of private players who wanted to render the proposed 52,000-km fibre optic connectivity a non-starter.
The agencies had broken their oath of secrecy. They selectively leaked cherry-picked portions of the statements given by suspects to the media with the sole intention of besmirching the government.
The CM said that certain persons outside the agencies appeared to have foreknowledge of how the investigations would unfold. Their political messaging guided the agencies.