LDF terms sexual harassment claims of gold smuggling prime accused as baseless

Thiruvananthapuram: The ruling LDF in Kerala on Sunday brushed aside as "baseless" the sexual harassment allegations made by a prime accused in the sensational Kerala gold smuggling case against three prominent leaders of the CPI(M) even as the Congress-led UDF alleged the Left front always tries to protect its members.

At a press conference here, the state secretaries of CPI(M) and its LDF partner CPI told reporters that the gold smuggling accused's latest allegations were "baseless" and a "continuation" of her tirade against the ruling front.

"Therefore, there is no need to respond to each and every allegation she makes. She has been making allegations in the past and this is just a continuation of the same. As and when it is required, we might respond," CPI(M) state secretary M V Govindan said.

Speaking along similar lines, CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran said, "This is just a continuation of her tirade. Once it ends, we will consider responding to it."

They both termed the allegations as "baseless" and not worth any response.

The Congress-led opposition UDF on the other hand said the Left front had a different stance when an accused in the solar scam had made similar allegations against Oommen Chandy and others.

"How come CPI(M) lacks faith in gold smuggling accused and is questioning her credibility in the instant case, but had a different viewpoint when Congress leaders were concerned? Like I had said earlier, at some point of time you have to answer for your deeds. That is what is happening now," Leader of Opposition in the Assembly V D Satheesan told reporters at Kasaragod.

He said that if the Left front was contending that the allegations were false and baseless, then why not take legal action against such defamatory contentions.

"We challenge them to take such a step," he added.

During the press conference when the Left leaders were asked why no action was taken against the gold smuggling accused for making such defamatory allegations, Govindan said, "We will consider it."

He also said that according to the gold smuggling accused, she had made all these allegations before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) which was probing the gold smuggling through diplomatic bags case and it was being claimed that there was an ED case.

Govindan said this in response to queries as to whether the government will seek a probe into her allegations as was done when the solar scam accused had raised similar claims against Congress leaders.

Satheesan, on the other hand, said while the gold smuggling accused had made all these allegations before the ED, it was not filing a case based on her statement as there is an understanding between the CPI(M) in Kerala and the BJP leadership at the Centre.

He said that Congress took action against its MLA Eldhose Kunnappilly, facing rape and attempt to murder charges, by suspending him from the KPCC and DCC memberships for six months, but the CPI(M) has not even done that.

"Let the accused CPI(M) leaders prove their innocence. We are not saying they are guilty. But there are allegations against them.

"We did not question the complainant's character or term the allegations politically motivated, and took action against our leader. CPI(M) does not even do that. It sets up party commissions to brush the allegations under the carpet. The party behaves as police and the court," Satheesan contended.

He said when such allegations are made, the party should have referred it to the police.

"Otherwise why do we have courts and police here?" he asked.

While talking to a TV channel, the gold smuggling accused had alleged on Friday that the leaders -- two former ministers and an ex-Assembly speaker -- had sought sexual favours from her

It triggered a political controversy in Kerala on Saturday with the Congress and BJP urging the police to register a case against the trio and asked the Left government to shed its silence over the issue.

The gold smuggling through diplomatic channel case of 2020 is being probed by multiple central agencies including the ED and the prime accused is currently on bail. PTI

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