The CPI(M)-led government in Kerala has suffered a major setback with the arrests of IAS officer M Sivasankar (former Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan) and party's state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan's son, Bineesh Kodiyeri, earlier this week. While both the arrests are of persons connected to Kerala’s CPI(M) leaders, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said that they are not concerned about those outside the party.
M Sivasankar was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday in connection with the gold smuggling case. On Thursday, CPI(M) State Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s son Bineesh was arrested by the ED for alleged links to an accused in the Bengaluru drugs peddling case.
“As far as Kodiyeri’s son is concerned, he is not a member of the party (CPI(M)). So there is no question of moral values or the party being responsible. For members of our party, these values will be strictly implemented. We are not concerned about those outside the party,” Sitaram Yechury said in a Facebook live while addressed questions posed by the media on the arrests, on Saturday.
The General Secretary also said that ‘Kodiyeri himself has asked for the investigation and for the law to take its course’.
“He (Kodiyeri) has clearly said that the investigation must be conducted and if anything is found to be in violation of the law, action must be taken. If anyone is guilty, action must be taken according to law. This applies to the state secretary’s son as well as the IAS officer (M Sivasankar),” he added.
Regarding Sivasankar’s arrest, Yechury said that the former Principal Secretary to the CM “was an IAS officer appointed by the Union government and that the investigation is going on.”
“The minute allegations cropped up about Sivasankar’s involvement or connection with wrongdoing, the Chief Minister suspended him from the position. They (the central agencies) are now inquiring, and as and when some violation of law has been found, action must be taken,” he said.
Watch video of the press meet:
Kerala and West Bengal are slated to go to polls in 2021. In Kerala, the Congress and the Left parties in Kerala are virtually at war with each other over several issues, including the gold smuggling case, In West Bengal, Yechury said, the CPI(M) has announced that it will contend along with secular parties, which includes the Congress, in order to defeat the BJP and the Trinamool Congress.
When asked how the CPI(M)’s central committee will justify this coalition to Kerala’s people, Yechury said that ‘Kerala’s people are very mature.’
“This happened in 2004 and yet the Kerala electorate voted to power 18 members to the parliament (there were assembly elections and parliamentary elections at the same time). The people of Kerala are very mature, they will not forget BJP destroying fundamental rights, and curbing any expression of dissent and branding it as anti-national,” he said.