Kodakara hawala scam: Pinarayi, Satheesan lock horns in Assembly

VD Satheesan and Pinarayi Vijayan

Thiruvananthapuram: Opposition Leader V D Satheesan on Monday lashed out at Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan saying he was resorting to "naked lies" to allege a BJP-Congress understanding.

The Chief Minister, while replying to the adjournment motion in the Assembly on the Kodakara hawala scam involving BJP leaders, said that the UDF wanted the police investigation stopped and the Kodakara case handed over to central agencies.

Pinarayi was referring to the Opposition Leader's intervention in the Assembly during the last session in June.

This is an outrageous lie, Satheesan said when it was his turn to speak. "I never said that the police investigation should be done away with. I specifically said that the police probe would not be affected even if the Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax were to carry out their investigations, " Satheesan said. He read out his speech to prove his point.

"In fact, you made fun of me when I said that the ED and the IT departments should be involved. You said we were trying to help the BJP, " Satheesan said.

Last June, in the Assembly, the Chief Minister had sarcastically said that Satheesan was using his legal knowledge to protect BJP leaders.

Pinarayi said this then because BJP state president K Surendran had said if the government had doubts about the source of money that was robbed in Kodakara, it should invite the ED.

When Satheesan also spoke of involving central agencies, Pinarayi painted this as proof of the secret understanding the UDF had with the BJP.

On Monday, Satheesan said that finally, the Chief Minister himself had conceded that the financial fraud angle could be probed only by the ED and the IT departments.

"It was you who wrote a letter to the Centre asking for a central probe into the gold smuggling case. And now you have involved them in the Kodakara case also, " the Opposition Leader said. "Then why are you bothered when the UDF says so," he asked.

Then, cranking up the rhetoric, Satheesan said: "Mr Pinarayi Vijayan. You are just one Pinarayi Vijayan. Even if a thousand Pinarayi Vijayans try, you can never hope to stamp the Congress with the sanghi tag.

The Chief Minister had also wanted Congress to state its opinion on the CBI. "The central leadership of the Congress had said the agency had deteriorated into a political tool. But Congress leaders in Kerala seem to have great faith in the agency, " Pinarayi said in a sarcastic tone.

Later, when he got up to speak, Satheesan asked why the Chief Minister had mentioned the CBI. "When did we speak about the CBI today, " he asked. "This is the Chief Minister's problem. When you say cow he would tie the cow to a coconut tree and speak about the tree, " Satheesan said.

The thrust of the UDF argument was that the Pinarayi government had entered into an understanding with the BJP leadership to let its leaders scot-free in the Kodakara case in return for similar generosity in the Gold smuggling case.

Congress MLA Roji M John, while moving the adjournment motion, said that BJP leaders involved in the case turned mere witnesses less than a week after Pinarayi met Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Satheesan called this "Pinarayi magic".

BJP State President K Surendran

Meanwhile, BJP State President K Surendran lashed out at Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for his remarks that the money looted in Kodakara rests now with the saffron party.

Surendran said that it was the Chief Minister's futile attempt to seek revenge against his party for rankling the Left front over their alleged connections in gold and dollar smuggling cases last year.

Vijayan, during his speech during the Assembly, had said that Deepak, one of the accused in the Kodakara robbery case, is a BJP activist.

Dismissing this claim, Surendran alleged that all the 21 accused in the case are associated with the CPM. He also pointed out that there were links between the Ramanattukara gold smuggling and the Kodakara case.

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