Tobacco smuggling: Complaint from CPM against Shanavas

(Left) The video grabs of Shanavas talking to the media and (right) of him celebrating his birthday with those accused of smuggling. Photo: MMTV

Alappuzha: A complaint from the CPM has been forwarded to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) against municipal councillor A Shanavas, who was suspended from the party over the Karunagappally tobacco smuggling case. The case was filed by three members of the CPM in Alappuzha. The complaint asks to investigate Shanavas’ financial dealings and assets.

Meanwhile, the tobacco smuggling case that involves party members has brought to public attention the dissidence in the CPM in the district.

The dissidence was very strong at the emergency meeting of the district secretariat that met on Tuesday night to discuss what action should be taken against Shanavas, who is also a member of the area committee.

Although district secretary R Nassar took the firm stand that Shanavas should be expelled from the party, the demand was rejected and the punitive action was limited to suspension. Those who called for expulsion were supporters of Minister Saji Cheriyan. The Minister was also present at the meeting.

In Thiruvananthapuram, Saji Cheriyan had said that the party had not obtained any evidence of Shanavas’ role in the smuggling incident. The Minister said that Shanavas had clarified that the lorry that was used to smuggle in the tobacco products had been leased out.

Shanavas responded saying that he had made a mistake in not informing the party about his purchase of the lorry and the leasing of the vehicle.

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