Thiruvananthapuram

BJP State president K. Surendran still risked prosecution in Kodakara case: CM Vijayan

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday told the Assembly that the Bharathiya Janata Party (BJP) State president K. Surendran still risked prosecution in the Kodakara hawala heist case.

Mr. Vijayan was replying to an adjournment motion moved by the UDF. The opposition had accused the LDF government of saving BJP leaders from the hawala case as a quid pro quo for the Centre’s help in letting CPI(M) leaders of the hook in the UAE gold smuggling racket.

Speaker M. B. Rajesh denied the opposition motion, prompting UDF legislators to walk out of the Assembly in protest.

In his reply, the CM said the hawala agent, who reported the loss of the unaccounted money to the Kodakara police in April, had deposed that Mr. Surendran, BJP organising secretary M. Ganesh, and State office secretary Girishan Nair were in the know.

The Kodakara case investigation was far from complete. The police have merely filed a preliminary charge sheet. They have named BJP leaders as witnesses in the case. At some stage, the BJP men would have to explain their knowledge about the crime. The police could prosecute some of them as suspects, he said.

Mr. Vijayan asked the UDF not to draw a parallel between the Centre’s investigation into the UAE gold case and the State police probe into the Kodakara hawala heist.

The UAE gold case probe was mere bluster. Central agencies had sent notices to State officials. They then leaked them to the press to accord a political advantage to Congress and BJP in the run-up to the 2021 Assembly elections.

The people rejected the recriminatory anti-government campaign at the hustings. They returned the LDF to power with a thumping majority for a second consecutive term. In stark contrast, the Kerala police probe into the hawala case was professional and politically non-partisan.

The police found that the BJP had moved large sums of unaccounted money from Karnataka to Kerala to influence the outcome of the State elections illegally. They had reported the matter to the Election Commission of India, Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax department.

Mr. Vijayan said the Congress in Kerala had become the ideological echo chamber of the BJP. It trusted the CBI while the party’s national leadership has damned the agency as a political tool of the ruling BJP.

Opposition Leader V. D. Satheeshan waved a magic wand and made the case against Mr. Surendran disappear “just like that”.

The rapprochement between the CPI(M) and BJP had occurred when Mr. Vijayan called on “his dear friend and role model” PM Narendra Modi.

The leaders had made a trade-off behind closed doors. “The Centre promised to ease off the gold case probe in return for CM’s help to save the BJP leadership in Kerala from prosecution in the Kodakara case”, he said.

Mr. Satheeshan said within hours of Mr. Vijayan’s return to Kerala, the Centre transferred Customs Commissioner, Preventive, Sumit Kumar, to a relatively less important post as GST commissioner in Bhiwandi. “The BJP-CPI(M) nexus is clear”, he said.


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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 5:46:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/bjp-state-president-k-surendran-still-risked-prosecution-in-kodakara-case-cm-vijayan/article35534561.ece

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