Kerala

CPI slams Central agencies

The Communist Party of India (CPI) on Thursday accused Central law enforcement agencies of acting in a politically partisan manner against the State government by attempting to cast it under a permanent pall of doubt in the UAE consulate linked gold smuggling case.

Indicating that the LDF would fight the move politically, CPI State secretary Kanam Rajendran said overlapping investigations by multiple agencies appeared to hover over the Secretariat without making any headway. Customs was a Central subject. Gold smuggling was primarily a failure of the Central government.

The agencies had not questioned persons who sent the contraband to the country via air freight addressed to the UAE consulate here citing diplomatic immunity. The investigators were undecided whether the contraband came in regular cargo or diplomatic baggage.

However, the investigations appeared politically primed to lay down a smokescreen of lies to destabilise the LDF government. The Centre had tried a similar tactic in Congress-ruled Rajasthan recently. It had used the CBI to undermine the non-BJP government. The Rajasthan government banned CBI from setting foot in the State. Kerala has done no such thing. It had welcomed the probe instead.

The government had not commented on the probe because it did not want to upset delicate Centre-State relations. However, political parties had their say in the matter, he said.

Mr. Rajendran said the possibility of admitting Jose K. Mani faction of the Kerala Congress (M) into the LDF would hinge on whether the group would part ways with the UDF for good. Mr. Mani, currently a UDF Rajya Sabha MP, is aligned with the UPA at the Centre. He has said his faction would reveal its stance at the "opportune moment".

The LDF is in no hurry. Nobody had walked into the LDF one fine day. The INL waited for years before it became part of the coalition. Mr. Rajendran was dismissive about Mr. Mani purported political heft in central Travancore. "I am from Kottayam. The CPI has its ear on the ground and knows the electoral field," he said.

Mr. Rajendran said Higher Education Minister K.T. Jaleel should have publicly appeared for questioning in his official vehicle. The CPI was part of the LDF and not a corrective force as portrayed by some sections of the media. Earlier, Mr. Rajendran had chaired a meeting of the party's State executive after a hiatus of three months.

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Printable version | Oct 20, 2020 3:09:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/cpi-slams-central-agencies/article32688323.ece

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