New Delhi: BJP president JP Nadda on Sunday hit out at Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan over the recent gold smuggling case, alleging that the Chief Minister’s office, too, was involved in it, further questioning the ‘link’ between Vijayan’s now-transferred personal secretary and a key accused. Also Read - Kerala Gold Smuggling Case: NIA Formally Arrests Key Accused Swapna Suresh, Sandeep Nair
Nadda made these remarks in a virtual address to Kerala BJP workers after virtually inaugurating the party’s newly-constructed district committee office building in Kasargod. Also Read - Kerala Gold Smuggling Case: Two Key Accused Arrested by NIA in Bengaluru
Addressing party workers, the BJP chief said, “The colour of gold is yellow everywhere but in Kerala, it is red, red and red. What is the relationship between that IT officer and the personal secretary of the Chief Minister?” Also Read - Kerala Gold Smuggling Case: High Court Defers Hearing of Anticipatory Bail Plea of Key Accused
Notably, CM Vijayan’s personal secretary M Sivasankar was transferred from his post after the case came to light. This was because he was involved in the hiring of Swapna Suresh, one of the four key accused, who was working in the state IT department and was sacked after her name cropped up.
The ‘IT officer’ jibe by Nadda was with reference to Swapna Suresh.
“We can see the heat in CM’s office also. He wrote to Prime Minister saying no stone should remain unturned as far as the investigation is concerned. We have a saying ‘chor ki daadi mein tinka’, it means the office of CM is also involved somewhere”, the BJP chief further remarked.
This was in reference to CM Vijayan’s letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking detailed probe into the scandal. The opposition parties in the state have alleged that his office, too, is involved in the case and sought his resignation.
The controversy pertains to seizure of 30 kg gold, worth Rs 15 crores, in a diplomatic baggage at the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport last Sunday. The baggage was intended for the UAE Consulate-General in the city, of which Swapna Suresh is a former employee.
She was formally arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), along with another accused, Sandeep Nair, earlier today. The two were detained by the agency in Bengaluru last night and will be produced in an NIA court in Kochi today.
Sarith and Fazil Fareed are two other accused in the case. Sarith, like Swapna, worked at the UAE Consulate-General in Kerala’s capital city.