Opposition protests in Kerala over gold smuggling case, demand CM Pinarayi’s resignation

Congress and BJP allege that the accused had close connections with officials in the Kerala Chief Minister’s office.
Opposition protests in Kerala over gold smuggling case, demand CM Pinarayi’s resignation
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With the sensational gold smuggling case turning into a political controversy in Kerala, opposition party workers on Thursday took to the streets across the state protesting against the Left government and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

While Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala and BJP state president K Suredran continued to target the state government by levelling new allegations, party workers took to the street in districts like Kozhikode, Kollam, Palakkad, Malappuram, and Thiruvananthapuram.

Opposition leaders have been alleging that the accused persons in the case had close connection with officials in the Kerala Chief Minister’s office.

The Youth Congress, which led a protest march to the state Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram, was blocked by police officials midway due to the triple lockdown imposed in the city. This resulted in a ruckus between the protesters and the police. The protestors burned the effigy of CM Pinarayi Vijayan and Swapna Suresh, who is an accused in the case and is absconding.

BJP and its youth wing Yuva Morcha held a protest march to Kollam Collectorate. Police forcefully removed workers from the spot after they tried to cross the barricade and enter the Collectorate premises.

Meanwhile, a protest march held in Kozhikode district by the Youth Congress workers ended in clashes with police resulting in two party workers reportedly getting injured. In Malappuram, Youth Congress workers held a protest march to Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan’s house at Perinthalmanna.

Speaking at a protest gathering in Thiruvananthapuram, Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala alleged that M Sivasankar, who was removed from the post of Principal Secretary of CM and from the post of IT Secretary, should have been suspended from the service as per rules. “He should not have just been removed from the post and made to go on leave. Legal action should have been taken according to service rules. Why wasn't this done? CM is afraid of Sivasankar, that is why," alleged the Congress leader.

BJP state president K Surendran demanded that CM Pinarayi Vijayan and Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan resign from post and face the probe. It has been alleged that P Sreeramakrishnan has close connection with accused Sandeep Nair, who is also absconding.

Surendran also hit out at CM Pinarayi by asking why the action which was taken against M Sivasankar, was not applicable to Sreeramakrishnan.

“By writing a letter to the Centre asking for a central agency probe, Pinarayi Vijayan is misleading the public,” Surendran asked.

He also questioned why the state government is not calling for a cabinet meeting and deciding to seek a CBI probe.


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