Days after CPI (M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan drove himself into a controversy with his Mini Cooper ride for Jana Jagratha Yatra, Left front MLAs are in another row: This time, over a photograph where they’re seen together with an accused in the gold smuggling case. The picture was released to the media on Sunday.
MLAs Karat Razak and PTA Rahim were seen together with a man who is an accused in the gold smuggling case at an inaugural function in the Gulf. The accused is identified to be Abdul Layis who was an accused in a COFEPOSA case. The MLAs had reportedly gone for an inaugural function of Abdul Layis’s new office branch in the Gulf. Karat Faisal, a gold smuggling accused whose car was rented by CPI (M) state secretary Kodiyri Balakrishnan for the Jan Jagratha Yatra, was also seen along with the MLAs in the picture.
Meanwhile PTA Rahim, MLA from Kunnamangalam constituency in Kozhikode district has denied that the photo was taken at the inauguration of Layis’s office. PTA Rahim told media, “We had a felicitation function to attend in Gulf soon after the elections. We had gone to Gulf for this. Meanwhile we were asked to attend the inaugural function of Meppoyil business firm and it has nothing to do with Abdul Layis.”
Rahim also added that clicking pictures with an accused cannot be considered as wrongdoing and these are unavoidable functions.
“Oommen Chandy is also an accused. I have clicked many pictures with him. It is not wrong to click pictures with an accused. These are functions that are unavoidable and Abdul Layis also happens to be a relative of mine. The function was also attended by the Koduvally Municipal Councillor,” Rahim told media.
Congress MLAs have reacted criticising the Left for forgetting its own party’s traditions and forming unholy political nexus with anti-social elements.
Congress MLA VD Satheeshan said, “Politicians are social servants. They cannot have relations with anti-social elements. This trend that we see in left parties is new, found among the new left front leaders. This shows that they are not aware of their old tradition.”
“This picture that has come out does not necessarily mean that the MLAs are linked with Abdul Layis. Though of late left leaders are building unholy alliances with such culprits to establish a strong foothold in Malabar. They indulge in such practices to fight Congress and League parties. This can prove detrimental to them in the near future,” said Congress MLA KS Sabarinadhan.
In 2013 Abdul Layis was accused of being a part of a racket that smuggled 6 kg of gold into the country from Karipur airport. Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act (COFEPOSA) is an act of the Parliament passed in by Indira Government during Emergency to prevent smuggling and retain foreign currency.