Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala on Monday said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan should tell the public what business gold smuggling case accused Swapna Suresh had at his official residence at Cliff House.
Inaugurating a State-wide protest by the United Democratic Front (UDF) demanding Mr. Vijayan’s resignation on the charge of abetting economic offenders, Mr. Chennithala said Swapna had told the Enforcement Directorate (ED) that she had met Mr. Vijayan at Cliff House at least six times.
She had also stated that Mr. Vijayan had introduced Principal Secretary M. Sivasankar as his point man and go-to person.
Anticipating a criminal inquiry, the government had destroyed evidence of Mr. Vijayan’s culpability by fraudulently claiming that lightning had damaged the surveillance cameras at Cliff House and no footage was recoverable.
Mr. Vijayan had turned the flood tragedy into an opportunity for unscrupulous commission agents to make money. Central agencies had found that Swapna profited from the UAE’s generosity to low-income families displaced by the floodwaters. The government eyed fancy projects, such as the Wayanad tunnel, as an opportunity for more corruption.
Mr. Chennithala alleged that Higher Education Minister K.T. Jaleel’s acceptance of vast quantities of dates and the Koran as Ramzan charity from the UAE consulate was under a pall of suspicion against the backdrop of the gold smuggling case.
Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Mullappally Ramachandran said law and order had broken down under Mr. Vijayan. In the past three weeks, armed assailants felled nine persons in Thrissur district alone. The disputes in the Communist Party of India (Marxist) had manifested as violence in the street.
UDF convener M.M. Hassan, CMP leader C.P. John, and V.S. Sivakumar, MLA, were present.