Tom Vadakkan. Photo: PG Unnikrishnan/Mathrubhumi
New Delhi: The BJP hit out at the CPI(M)-led LDF government in Kerala on Wednesday over a case of alleged gold smuggling and said this is not merely about money and smuggling, but also about "national security" and "for a few pieces of gold, please do not sell the country".
Citing the allegations made by the prime accused in the case, Swapna Suresh, against Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, his family members and some top bureaucrats, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Tom Vadakkan said the chief minister should step down.
"The Kerala chief minister should look into his conscience after these charges and step down from his post," Vadakkan said here.
He alleged that every attempt was made to sabotage the investigation carried out by agencies in the case.
"This is not about money and smuggling. This is about national security. For a few pieces of gold, please do not sell the country. This is not an ordinary crime, this is the height of corruption. A sitting chief minister and his family are allegedly pointed out by people involved in the case," Vadakkan said.
He also alleged that the Congress has a role in the cover-up operation of the case.
Echoing similar sentiments, Union minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar said the latest revelation about Vijayan's alleged role in the gold-smuggling "scam" is a "new low in political corruption".
"Not only is this smuggling and corruption in Kerala duopoly of CPI(M) and Cong, it is also a murky saga of India's security being peddled for a few pieces of gold," he said in a tweet.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA), the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the customs department conducted separate investigations into the gold-smuggling case that was registered following the seizure of gold worth Rs 15 crore from the diplomatic baggage of the UAE consulate at the Thiruvananthapuram airport on July 5, 2020.
Several people, including former principal secretary to the Kerala chief minister M Sivasankar and a former employee of the UAE consulate here, Sarith P S, were arrested in connection with the case.