Cong, BJP attack Ker govt over arrest of CPI-M state secy's son; LDF distances itself

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Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 29 (PTI) The opposition Congress and BJP in Kerala on Thursday lashed out at the LDF government over the arrest of CPI(M) state chief Kodiyeri Balakrishnan's son Bineesh Kodiyeri by the ED, alleging anti-national activities were being carried out under the Left front rule in the state.

Amid demands for resignation of Balakrishnan, the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) said Bineesh, arrested in a money laundering case related to drugs seizure, was not a CPI(M) leader and the party was not responsible for his deeds.

CPI-M secretary Sitaram Yechury asserted the arrest would not affect the party, saying Balakrishnan has made it clear that the law will take its course.

Balakrishnan had earlier this month made it clear that the party was not responsible for the deeds of Bineesh and said the probe agencies can take any action if his son was found guilty.

Earlier in the day, Bineesh was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in Bengaluru under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after being questioned in connection with his alleged links with an accused in a drug case there.

Chennithala, the leader of Opposition in the state assembly, said with the arrests of former principal secretary to the chief minister M Sivasankar in the gold smuggling case and Bineesh in the drug related case the state government and the party were 'now under custody'.

'Kerala is ruled by a gang of robbers. This is a total disgrace to Kerala. The party and the government are working together to carry out mafia activities in the state.

'Under the patronage of the CPI-M and the Pinarayi government, anti-national activities are being carried out in the state. The latest example of this is the arrest of the son of the party state secretary in a drug case,' he alleged, while talking to reporters here.

BJP state chief K Surendran said the allegation against Bineesh was that he arranged funds for the drug mafia.

'Politically and morally, the CPI(M) should answer this.

CPI(M) party headquarters, the AKG centre, and the chief minister's office are under the scanner of probe agencies on the same day,' he said, in an apparent reference to Sivasankar's arrest in the gold smuggling case.

Balakrishnan should step down from his party secretary post, Surendran said.

Virtually rejecting the demand, LDF convenor A Vijayaraghavan said Bineesh was not a CPI(M) leader and the party was not responsible for him.

'If the party secretary was involved in anything like this, then the party would have been responsible, but the party is not responsible for the deeds of his son,' he told mediapersons.

Yechury also came out in support of the LDF government over the arrest of Sivasankar by the ED on Wednesday in the case related to smuggling of gold using diplomatic channel.

'An IAS officer is appointed by the Centre. When this issue came up the officer was suspended by the state government. Now they are seeking the resignation of the chief minister. Ask the Prime Minister,' he told a television channel.

The ED probe stems from a case being investigated by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) that claimed to have busted an ecstasy pills drug trafficking racket in Karnataka in August.

The NCB had arrested M Anoop, Anikha D, R Ravindran and had said it seized 145 ecstasy or MDMA pills and over Rs 2.20 lakh cash from a hotel apartment here that time.

Central agencies---National Investigation Agency, Customs and the Enforcement Directorate, are conducting separate inquiries into the seizure of gold worth nearly Rs 15 crore from a diplomatic baggage at the international airport here on July 5. PTI RRT VS VS