Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], July 19 (ANI): Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala on Sunday said that the time has come to question Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the gold smuggling case. He also demanded that the CM's office should be investigated.
"A very shocking news is coming from Kerala that total of 180 kilograms of gold has been smuggled through this diplomatic channel and the first accused is saying that Chief Minister's principal secretary and his IT fellow were very helpful in the smuggling of gold to Kerala. This is a very serious matter I feel that Chief Minister of Kerala should take moral responsibility in this case. He and his office should be questioned than only the real facts will come to the light," Chennithala said.
"It is a 'Consultancy Raj ' that is going on in Kerala. The CPI(M) that used to oppose consultancy when it came to power in Kerala it is giving key projects to consultancies without any proper tender or bid. The Chief Minister's Office is primarily responsible for it," he alleged.
The Congress leader said the major controversy has a lot of ramification not only in India but in UAE and other parts of the world also.
"I feel that a comprehensive inquiry by CBI is also necessary so that Chief Minister, his entire team and his office all will be properly investigated and culprits will be booked by that agency," Chennithala said.
He alleged that the Kerala Chief Minister has been hesitating to write to the CBI for instituting an inquiry.
"The Chief Minister is hesitating to write to the CBI for instituting an inquiry. I think the time has come to interrogate the Chief Minister and investigate his office so that the truth will prevail," Chennithala said.
He said that the Chief Minister's Office is primarily responsible for the cases.
Three key accused in the matter -- Sarith PS, Swapna Suresh, and Sandeep Nair -- are currently under the custody of the NIA, which is probing the high profile case related to the smuggling of gold through diplomatic channels in the state. Swapna is the second accused and Sandeep fourth accused in the case.
The matter had come to light after 30 Kg of gold worth Rs 14.82 crore smuggled in a consignment camouflaged as diplomatic baggage was busted by customs in Thiruvananthapuram. The case is being probed by the NIA. (ANI)