Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan | Photo: ANI
New Delhi: Union minister V Muraleedharan on Wednesday said that Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is "running away from the real issues" after CPI(M) issued a statement against the allegations of Swapna Suresh on the Chief Minister regarding the gold smuggling case.
Earlier today, in the Kerala gold smuggling case, Swapna alleged the involvement of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his wife.
Suresh is a key accused in the sensational gold smuggling case.
CPI (M) issued a statement that the allegations against Vijayan are "politically motivated".
"Calling it politically motivated is just running away from the real issue. The CPI (M) is afraid of facing the people, they should give a written statement. The CM should have faced the media and explained the facts and he should have made efforts to convince the people of Kerala," Muraleedharan added.
"In this case, CM's principal secretary was accused then he was jailed, the lady who has now raised the allegation was given an appointment by the government. So it is a clear case of corruption for which the CM holds an explanation of the allegation and the comment of the opposition leader that there are middile men in this case perhaps because of his old association of government which was there," he said.
"It is only because Narendra Modi is a Prime minister that the smugglers and black marketeers are being brought to book, so the opposition leaders' allegation of a middle man is because of his old memories of the previous government with which he was associated," he further stated.
Swapna Suresh alleged that in 2016, M Sivasankar, the former Principal Secretary to the Kerala Chief Minister, had asked her to send baggage to Dubai which belonged to Vijayan. However, when the bag was brought to the consulate, it was found that it contained currencies and the entire gold smuggling business had begun from then.
The Kerala gold smuggling case pertains to the smuggling of gold in the state through diplomatic channels. It had come to light after 30 kg gold worth Rs 14.82 crore smuggled in a consignment camouflaged as diplomatic baggage was busted by the customs department in Thiruvananthapuram on July 5, 2019.
The case is being probed by the Enforcement Directorate, National Investigative Agency (NIA) and the customs department.