I’m glad you’ve changed your opinion on ED, let me remind you CBI is no better: CM tells Satheesan

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Pinarayi Vijayan and VD Satheesan | Screengrab/Sabha TV

Thiruvananthapuram: Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday mocked opposition leader VD Satheesan for ‘changing’ his position on the probe of the Enforcement Directorate into the controversial gold smuggling.

"Before I respond to his demand [for a court-monitored CBI probe into the gold smuggling case], I would like to thank him for changing the take on the ED probe. He said ED is being used by the union government with political motives. This is clearly not what they were saying earlier," mocked CM.

Opposition leader, while moving the submission for the government to request a high-court monitored CBI probe, said "there are complaints against the ED nation-wide."

"ED is accused of being a tool of the Modi government. They target the opposition parties and protect the leaders of the ruling dispensation. My party also expresses serious concern over the functioning of ED. It over-reaches their jurisdiction to target opponents. We doubt the gold smuggling case is now being shifted to Bengaluru to topple it," said Satheesan quoting the news of ED moving the Supreme Court to take the case outside Kerala.

"We can't trust ED or what they say. They are all political moves. They accuse the state government of attempting to topple the ED probe. Hence we have to prove our innocence and expose the ED's political aims. Kerala Police, Vigilance or even Interpol cannot probe the matter. Central agencies are the only competent agencies to investigate the case. Hence, a CBI probe overseen by the HC is required," said Satheesan.

Replying to this, Pinarayi said: "I guess the opposition leader will not be able to continue in the Assembly for long. He will have to attend the protest rally in front of Raj Bhavan against ED quizzing AICC president. He has defined the ED precisely. These are opposite to what he had said earlier."

Later, Pinarayi added that CBI is also a central agency and there is no point in hoping to get justice that ED cannot provide.

The CM then said that ED has never intimated the government about any issue from the latter's side in continuing their probe. He also justified the actions like the vigilance case and the judicial probe against the ED. The state is constitutionally bound to protect the law and order. Our actions never stopped the central agencies from probing any of their cases. The state cannot block the cases overseen by the union government at any cost, he said.

“It is not fair to play the victim while singing chorus for the attackers,” CM told the opposition.

“CBI was called a caged parrot by the supreme court when Congress was ruling the country. This is a matter that only the union government can solve. Let them decide the agency. Not us,” he concluded.

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