Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], November 13 (ANI): After Kerala CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan stepped down from his post, both Congress and BJP have opined that Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan should follow suit.
Leader of Opposition in Kerala Assembly, Ramesh Chennithala said that earlier also Kodiyeri Balakrishnan had gone for treatment in the US, but then he had not given up the party secretary post.
"Now, the situation arises from the fact that there are issues within CPI(M) after the party and government are facing serious corruption charges including gold smuggling case. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, whose office was supporting gold smuggling accused should have resigned much earlier," he added.
BJP state president K Surendran said that the move by CPI (M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan to step down from the post should be followed by Kerala Chief Minister.
"It is unethical for the Chief Minister to cling to power despite being convinced that the probe into gold smuggling and related scams was against him. Kodiyeri Balakrishnan resigned after his son Bineesh Kodiyeri was caught in a drug and money laundering case," he said.
Further, the BJP state president said, "It is a challenge to the Malayalees that the Chief Minister did not resign even though his Principal Secretary was in jail and the Additional Secretary was summoned by the ED for anti-national gold smuggling case. The ED's report is that the CM's team was in touch with gold smugglers is serious. The CPM central leadership should advise Pinarayi to resign before more evidence comes out."
The gold smuggling case, which is currently being probed by the ED, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Customs Department, pertains to the smuggling of gold in the state through diplomatic channels.
The matter had come to light after 30 kg gold worth Rs 14.82 crores, smuggled in a diplomatic cargo, was busted by the Customs in Thiruvananthapuram on July 5. (ANI)