CPI(M) firm behind Kodiyeri Balakrishnan after his son’s arrest in drug case
Amid the arrest of party secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s son Bineesh Kodiyeri in connection with the Bengaluru drug racket, the CPI(M) central leadership rallied behind the beleaguered leader. The party central committee on Saturday said there was no need for him to quit and parents can’t be held responsible for the doings of grown-up children.
“The party and government are intact and the latest developments have nothing to do with both. If Bineesh Kodiyeri has done any wrong he has to face music. The party won’t protect him. But citing this, we will not allow anybody to weaken the government,” said senior politburo member S Ramachandran Pillai in the state capital.
Another politburo member MA Baby also said there was a concerted move to weaken the government using the central agencies. “The Union government is implementing the RSS agenda to weaken the secular government in Kerala. All agencies are busy nitpicking. The party and government will emerge stronger because people are with us,” he wrote in a Facebook post. He also said the party won’t protect Kodiyeri and it was his duty to come clean.
In Delhi, party general secretary Sitaram Yechury also echoed the same view. “Bineesh Kodiyeri is not holding any position in the party. The party has no role in things he has done at the personal level,” he said. The opposition Congress and BJP said the central leadership was not in a position to touch the state secretary. “It shows the degeneration of the proletarian party,” said state opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala.
Kodiyeri was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in Bengaluru on Thursday and a court later remanded him to the ED’s custody for four days. In a statement, the central agency said the main accused in the drug case Anoop Mohammad was just a “benami” (proxy) of Kodiyeri who ensured funding from various sources for the thriving drug business.
Two key arrests - CM Pinarayi Vijayan’s former secretary M Sivasankar in the gold smuggling case and the party secretary’s son Bineesh Kodiyeri in the narcotics case - have roiled the state’s ruling CPI(M). With six months left for the assembly election, the party has its task cut out to convince supporters and voters that it is in the clear. Analysts said this is fast becoming the biggest crisis of CM Vijayan’s tenure
In another trouble for the government, the customs have summoned higher education minister K T Jaeel next week. Earlier, he was grilled by the National Investigation Agency and Enforcement Directorate in connection with the import of religious books and dry dates from the United Arab Emirates flouting foreign contribution norms.
Jaleel landed in trouble after his name figured prominently in the call list of Swapna Suresh, main accused in the gold smuggling case. Soon after the list surfaced, the minister held a press conference in Malappuram and said he called Suresh as a consular employee in connection with Ramadan kits offered by the UAE consulate. But this clarification invited more trouble as he was not supposed to accept any fund or freebies without the consent of the ministry of external affairs. The opposition alleged that some of the consignments carried smuggled gold.