The government has no responsibility in Sivasankar's personal acts, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Thursday, hours after his former Principal Secretary was named as the fifth accused in the controversial gold smuggling case, by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). Responding to the questions of reporters, Kerala CM stated that the opposition is trying to put an officer's personal acts on the government's head.
Stating that the government will not tolerate any corruption, Pinarayi Vijayan added that the government had taken appropriate action when IAS officer M Sivasankar came under a cloud.
After the gold smuggling case surfaced, allegations that one of the accused has a relation with Sivasankar came out and at that instance the government intervened, the CM said. "He was first removed from the posts of Principal Secretary and Secretary of the IT Department. A preliminary probe was initiated by the Chief Secretary and Sivasankar was suspended. Following this, a departmental inquiry was started and it is still going on. There is nothing to blame the government in this," the CM said.
The Opposition is trying to influence people with wrong propaganda, he added. â€śThe government does not have any moral obligation to take responsibility for the officer in All India Civil Service,â€ť he said.
M Sivasankar was arrested by the ED on Wednesday and it is alleged that he has a real involvement in the gold smuggling case. Following the arrest of the senior bureaucrat, opposition parties have once again started to raise the demand of CM Pinarayiâ€™s resignation. But the LDF government has made its stand clear saying that it has no moral or any other responsibility for the personal acts of Sivasankar.
In the press meet, CM also responded to the allegations that Sivasankar was appointed as the Principal Secretary following the recommendation of the CPI(M). His appointment was through a routine course, he was the Secretary first and then he got promoted to Principal Secretary, CM said.
"His name was one of the names that was foremost when the government came into rule and asked about IAS officers who could be deployed in the Chief Minister's Office. Considering that he had held multiple positions in the past, he was appointed. The allegation that the party recommended him is false. There is no need to wage war showing Sivasankar," Pinarayi said.
CM also alleged that a Customs officer was transferred soon after he responded to media saying no one from the Chief Minister's Office had contacted officials for the gold smuggling accused persons. However, this never became a discussion, CM said.
Mentioning about the controversies surrounding UAE Consulate distributing dates and Quran in the state, CM said that there was nothing unusual in it. "UAE officials had declared 2017 to be a year of giving. They distributed dates to different countries as part of this. But we think it was only Kerala. Government has not done anything wrong," CM added.
Congress in the state is contradictory to its leaders
Meanwhile, hitting out at the Congress, CM said that the party in the state has a contradictory stand from what its top leaders have. Though Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi have shared views about the discriminatory approach of the central investigation agencies and that there are politically motivated actions, the Opposition leader in Kerala does not think so, the CM said.
â€śOpposition Leader (Ramesh Chennithala) has a strange argument that the discriminatory approach disappears in Kerala and that central agencies become neutralists in the state,â€ť said Pinarayi.
Watch video of Pinarayi Vijayan's reaction