Kerala

Gold smuggling case: Pinarayi, Sivasankar ‘helping each other’, says Chennithala

Ramesh Chennithala. File   | Photo Credit: S. GOPAKUMAR

Leader of the Opposition in the Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala has alleged that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his suspended Principal Secretary M. Sivasankar are now “mutually helping each other” in the gold smuggling case.

He told mediapersons in Kozhikode on Monday that the “hospitalisation drama” of Mr. Sivasankar was only a tactic to delay his arrest in the case of smuggling gold through the diplomatic channel. The Chief Minister could not play hide and seek for a long time. The probe by the Central agencies was on the right track. It was better for Mr. Vijayan to resign from his post before the probe agencies arrested him, Mr. Chennithala said.

Also read | Probe reaches Sivasankar’s doorsteps

He charged that the public outrage was intensifying day by day against the government which was “steeped in corruption and nefarious activities”. The Congress-led United Democratic Front would observe ‘Kerala Piravi’ (November 1) as ‘hypocrisy day’ against the State government. About 2 lakh activists would take part in the protest at 20,000 centres in the State, he said.

Bar bribery scam

Responding to questions, Mr. Chennithala dismissed a report that appeared in the name of Kerala Congress (M) which claimed that he was the kingpin behind the conspiracy against Kerala Congress (M) leader and then Finance Minister K.M. Mani in the bar bribery scam. Even his son Jose. K Mani had dismissed such a report. It was the CPI (M) which had physically attacked Mani outside and inside the Legislative Assembly, he alleged.

Also read | Gold smuggling case: BJP demands Pinarayi’s resignation

He said that the bar bribery case was investigated when he was the Home Minister. At that time, the Vigilance and Anti Corruption Bureau was not a “caged parrot”. The agency under Vigilance Director N. Sankar Reddy functioned as an independent body, Mr. Chennithala said.

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Printable version | Dec 4, 2020 2:20:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/gold-smuggling-case-pinarayi-sivasankar-helping-each-other-says-chennithala/article32890749.ece

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