Amit Shah attacks CM over gold smuggling case
- Addressing the concluding session of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president K Surendran’s “Vijay Yatra” in the state capital, Shah posed five questions to the CM.
Union home minister Amit Shah on Sunday hit back at Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, saying he was making wild allegations in the gold smuggling case and that the state, once known for social revolution, was now “reduced to a land of corruption, political violence and bad governance”.
Addressing the concluding session of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president K Surendran’s “Vijay Yatra” in the state capital, Shah posed five questions to the CM.
He said that in light of recent developments, the CM had lost credibility and he is not fit to continue in power. The customs department filed an affidavit in the Kerala high court on Friday, citing the confessional statement of the main accused in the gold smuggling case, Swapna Suresh, that dollar was smuggled at the instance of the CM, three ministers and the speaker.
“The CM recently said central agencies probing gold and dollar smuggling cases were targeting the state government. These are baseless charges. I just want to ask some questions — whether the main accused (Swapna Suresh) worked in a key position in the government or not; who appointed her in the post with hefty salary; whether she travelled with some leaders and officials abroad or not; whether she was a regular visitor to the CM’s office or not; and when gold was seized whether the CM office intervened or not,” Shah said.
He said he had all details of both cases (gold and dollar smuggling) with him and asked the CM to answer his questions. He said if the CM was serious, he should cooperate with the ongoing investigation instead of making baseless charges. He also said the Centre viewed threats and attacks on officials of the agencies seriously.
The gold smuggling case came to light last July after customs seized 30kg gold from a consignment that came in the name of an official of the UAE consulate in Thiruvananthapuram camouflaged as diplomatic consignment. Later, the case was handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and at least four other central agencies are part of the probe now.
“Kerala was first to beat illiteracy and build tourism as an industry. But the alternate LDF and UDF governments have made it a land of corruption and violence. The UDF has solar scam and LDF gold smuggling scandal. They are competing how corrupt they can be,” Shah said.
He also praised “Metro Man” E Sreedharan, who was present at the event. “A symbol of integrity and transparency, his entry will do good for the party and state. Even at this age, Metro Man is ready to serve the country. I salute him,” he said.
Sreedharan said: “Often, many ask these days why I joined politics at this age. I told them that at this age too I have enough energy to work for Kerala and the country.”
On Sunday, Shah also launched his party’s campaign for the April 6 Lok Sabha bypoll in Tamil Nadu and exuded confidence that the party would not only win there, but that the National Democratic Alliance in Tamil Nadu would emerge victorious in the assembly elections next month.
“I am confident that a coalition government of AIADMK-BJP-PMK will be formed (after the assembly polls),” he said.
The ruling AIADMK and the BJP in Tamil Nadu on Friday clinched a seat-sharing deal, with the former, the lead partner, allocating 20 Assembly seats for its saffron ally and the Kanyakumari Lok Sabha seat. BJP has nominated Radhakrishnan from there.
With PTI inputs from Kanyakumari