Kerala

Pinarayi Vijayan writes to EC on ED probe into KIIFB

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has sought the intervention of the Election Commission of India to ensure that the Central investigation agencies such as the Enforcement Directorate (ED) follow the ‘statute in letter and spirit’ and ‘act in a politically neutral manner’.

“This is absolutely essential to retain the spirit of the model code of conduct and to ensure free and fair elections in the State,” Mr. Vijayan pointed out in a letter to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora.

Summons to CEO

The move comes in the wake of the ED’s probe into the masala bonds of the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB), the flagship infrastructure funding and development agency of the State. The agency had issued summons to K.M. Abraham, CEO of KIIFB, to be present at its Kochi office on March 5 and Deputy Managing Director Vikramjit Singh to appear on March 4 for questioning.

The model code put in place is being ‘conveniently violated, torpedoed at the instance of some Union Ministers and its very spirit is being destroyed’.

‘Poll gains’

“The authority conferred on investigating agency is being wrongly appropriated for electoral gains of the ruling party at the Centre and for the Opposition in the State,” the Chief Minister said. The matter is neither one of recent occurrence nor of urgent nature.

Some of the officials, including women, called by the ED to Kochi had been subjected to ‘intemperate behaviour’, he said.

The move came close on the heels of a speech by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman criticising KIIFB and the State Budget, during the BJP’s Vijay Yatra in Kochi on February 28.

“ The ED is misusing its power and the aim is to conduct a smear campaign against the State government,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 3:06:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/pinarayi-writes-to-ec-on-ed-probe-into-kiifb/article33983099.ece

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