From gold smuggling to Lok Ayukta, CPM faces tough challenge as CM returns

Thiruvananthapuram: While Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was away abroad for three weeks, the state faced a new wave of political debate that put the government on guard. However, his return is at a time when the state government is at the receiving end on a series of political blows that could seriously place CPM in a tough spot.

Primarily, CPI, the part of the ruling coalition, is unhappy with the CPM over introducing an ordinance to amend Lok Ayukta without a political discussion. Secondly, the release of the autobiographical book of M. Sivasankar has further opened up debate over the role of CM in the case.

The first assignment before the Chief Minister is to obtain the Governor's approval for the Lok Ayukta Ordinance. Both the Opposition and the CPI are opposing the amendment, which limits the powers of the Lok Ayukta. With opposition pressuring the governor, the need for amendments to be tabled before the assembly seems to be the only option. Recognizing this, the Chief Minister met the Governor on the first day of his return.

The CPI's opposition is only relevant when the bill is introduced in the Assembly. The CPM is of the view that a middle ground can be attained with CPI even if the case was brought before the assembly.

Gold smuggling controversy

Meantime, the gold smuggling case has once again been brought to public domain following the revelations made by Sivasankar. The involvement of the CM's office in the case was further strengthened by the statements given by Swapna Suresh, the prime accused in the case. The opposition has already demanded a retrial in the case. The BJP is also on the scene with protests.

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