Step aside and face probe, Congress tells CM Pinarayi after Swapna Suresh's explosive revelations

V D Satheesan
Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan

The opposition Congress has demanded the resignation of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan following gold smuggling scam accused Swapna Suresh's allegation that the top CPM leader was involved in the crime.

Leader of the Opposition V D Satheesan sought a court-monitored probe into the latest allegations made by Suresh while Congress state president K Sudhakaran urged the CPM politburo to intervene in the matter.

Stating that nobody can deny a fresh investigation into the new revelations, Satheesan said a fair probe must be conducted. "A fair investigation will not be possible if the chief minister continues to be in the position. He should step aside and face the probe. It should be a court-monitored probe. We don't trust the central investigation agencies," Satheesan told reporters on Tuesday.

Terming Suresh's revelations shocking, Satheesan said the chief minister should react to the allegations. "We don't need the CPM state secretary's reaction in this matter," he said.

Sudhakaran said the CPM politburo should decide if Vijayan should continue in the post or not.

"No other chief minister was involved in gold smuggling in the history of the country. This is the first time we hear about gold being smuggled in biriyani vessels. Swapna's revelations have shocked the state. BJP has also tried to settle the case in which the CM and his family are involved. The chief minister doesn't deserve to continue in his office even for a minute," Sudhakaran said.

He called for an investigation by the CBI or judiciary into the allegations.

Former Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said Vijayan was the prime accused in the gold smuggling scam. "Truth will come out no matter how hard one tries to fathom it. The allegations I raised when I was the leader of the opposition have been proven," he said. He, however, refused to comment on Suresh's allegations against Vijayan's family.

The Congress leaders came out against the CM after Suresh on Tuesday directly named Vijayan, his wife, daughter, two top aides and one former Cabinet minister in connection with the case.

She said she has given a statement under Section 164 of the CrPC naming the chief minister, his wife Kamala Vijayan, daughter Veena Vijayan, former State Chief Secretary Nalini Netto, Additional Private Secretary to Kerala Chief Minister C M Raveendran and former Higher Education Minister and current legislator K T Jaleel.

“I've been advised by the court to show restraint while I speak and hence I am not able to speak everything about the gold smuggling case. It all began in 2016 when Vijayan first went to the UAE. Then M. Sivasankar (former Kerala Principal Secretary to Vijayan and top IAS official) had asked me to make all arrangements for his visit in the UAE and I did it through our UAE Consulate in Kerala," she said.

"The next day, I get a call from Sivasankar saying that Vijayan has forgotten a bag and it should be immediately sent to him. At the Consulate office, there is a scanner and when we scanned the bag, it was filled with money," Swapna added.

She further said that on many occasions, a biriyani vessel was transported from the house of the UAE Consulate General in India to the residence of the Kerala Chief Minister.

"This has happened on several occasions and it has been found out that it contained metal-like objects. This was done under instructions from Sivasankar," Swapna added.

She said she made the same revelations to the various central probe agencies but this was being told to the media for the first time.

Earlier this year, Swapna Suresh had alleged that she was exploited and manipulated by Sivasankar. She came up against Sivasankar after he wrote in his autobiographical book that she had trapped him.

Youth Congress protest

Following Swapna's allegations, Youth Congress workers staged a protest in front of the secretariat leading to clash with the police.

The protesters burned the chief minister in effigy. Youth Congress took out a protest march in Kozhikode also. BJP's youth wing Yuva Morcha also staged a protest in front of the secretariat.  


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