Gold smuggling case: BJP demands Pinarayi’s resignation

Government trying to hush up case, says Muraleedharan

The BJP on Friday demanded the resignation of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan over the gold smuggling case, alleging that those accused in the case were working in tandem with the ruling dispensation in the State.

“The moral authority of the Chief Minister is lost. The BJP has been demanding, the people of Kerala have been demanding that the Chief Minister resign owning moral responsibility for the whole incident,” Minister of State for External Affairs and Kerala BJP leader V. Muraleedharan said at a presser at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi.

The case relates to the seizure of 30 kg of gold from diplomatic baggage at the Thiruvananthapuram airport on July 5.

Mr. Muraleedharan said the Left government’s involvement in hushing up the case was clear by the fact that the State had first asked the Centre to order a probe into the matter and had now moved court against the CBI, claiming that the agency does not have the authority to investigate.

“This shows that those involved in smuggling gold are hand in glove with those in power,” he alleged, adding that this case was distinct from other cases of gold smuggling because it was “directly” linked to the Chief Minister’s Office. He also pointed out that the Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister had been suspended over the case.

“(Chief Minister) Vijayan has been changing his stand on the matter from the day the case was registered and accused were arrested,” Mr. Muraleedharan said.

The NIA, the CBI and the ED are probing various angles of the case and several people have been arrested in connection with the case.

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