Opposition political parties have demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) took his former principal secretary M Sivasankar into custody on Wednesday in connection with the sensational gold smuggling case.
The case pertains to the seizure of 30 kg of gold worth Rs 14.82 crore at the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport on July 5 that came in a diplomatic consignment to the UAE consulate in Thiruvananthapuram.
Resign immediately: Chennithala
Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala alleged that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was the first accused in the gold smuggling case and he should resign immediately. "There is no escape for the chief minister now. He should quit immediately," he demanded.
Akin to Pinarayi's arrest: Mullappally
Congress Leader Mullappally Ramachandran demanded Pinarayi Vijayan's resignation taking moral responsibility. "Sivasankar was close to Pinarayi Vijayan. Taking his close confidante into custody is like arresting Vijayan," he said.
Masterminds of the operation in CPM, Govt: V Muraleedharan
The masterminds of the operation are with the CPM and the government, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said. "With this, it has become clear that the investigation is going in the right direction. So far, only those directly involved in the gold smuggling were arrested. Now all those who helped them will be nabbed," Muraleedharan said.
Pinarayi is the 'first accused': PK Krishnadas
BJP national executive committee member PK Krishnadas said the first accused in the case was Chief Minister. He pointed out the state's many attempts to ban the CBI probe. "They were concerned that it would lead to the CPM leadership," Krishnadas said.