More ministers involved in gold smuggling case: Nadda

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president J.P. Nadda on Wednesday said multiple investigations by Central agencies into various aspects of the UAE consulate linked gold smuggling case would sweep up more Left Democratic Front (LDF) Ministers in its wake.

The heat was getting to them. โ€œThe Speaker is also involved in the scam,โ€ he said. The crime had the patronage of the office of the highest executive in the State. The LDF’s saga of corruption has disgusted the people. โ€œThe involvement of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s office in the case has embarrassed Keralites world over,โ€ he said.

The government had crossed a line by attacking constitutional bodies. The CPI(M) had savaged the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) for questioning the constitutionality of the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB). The Kerala Public Service Commission has become a recruiting agency for CPI(M) members. The government had made three-lakh backdoor appointments, dashing the hopes of educated youth, he said.

The Congress leaders too faced a slew of corruption cases. The Palarivatoom flyover was emblematic of the previous Oommen Chandy government’s graft. โ€œWe know about the sex scandal that dogs the Congress leadership. The party has invited the same Mr. Chandy to lead it into the election fray. The Congress never learns its lessons,โ€ he said.

When pressed about BJP vice president Sobha Surendran’s purported dissatisfaction with the party’s State leadership, Mr. Nadda said: โ€œWe are going to heal wherever sentiments are hurt as in a big family. Ms. Surendran has voiced her views. She has met my general secretary. There is no groupism in the BJP. Its workers are moored to ideology and discipline,โ€ he said.

Mr. Nadda dismissed the Congress theory that the BJP had struck a tacit understanding with the CPI(M) to defeat the Congress in a tight three-cornered fight for the Assembly elections. โ€œWe don’t believe in such underhand dealings,โ€ he said.

The Centre has accorded Kerala a pride of price in its Budget for this fiscal. Mr. Nadda will address a public rally in Thrissur on Thursday.

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