Gold-smuggling case: Central agencies being used to target LDF govt in Kerala, alleges CPI(M)

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New Delhi, Nov 19 (PTI) Accusing the Congress-led UDF and the BJP of targeting the LDF government in Kerala, the CPI(M) on Thursday said the two parties have used the gold-smuggling case to attack Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

In the latest edition of its mouthpiece, People's Democracy, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) alleged that the four central agencies -- National Investigation Agency, Customs, Enforcement Directorate and Central Bureau of Investigation -- probing the gold-smuggling case are 'using it as a springboard to extend their enquiries into various government projects and schemes'.

'The efforts to discredit and denigrate the Left Democratic Front government in Kerala have been mounting in the past few weeks. The Congress-led UDF and the BJP have conducted agitations utilising the gold smuggling case to target Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the LDF government.

'As the assembly elections draw closer, the Congress and the BJP have moved explicitly to widen the ambit of their attack on the government. Some of the central agencies have also been enlisted in this nefarious game,' it said.

The editorial in the magazine further stated that when the smuggling of gold through diplomatic baggage was discovered in July, the chief minister had promptly asked the Centre to investigate the case through one of its appropriate agencies, as was necessary since the goods were smuggled from abroad.

It alleged that the home ministry entrusted the case with the NIA, even though there was no prima facie ground to suspect any terror funding or national security threat. It then went on to describe the roles played by the other investigating agencies in the case.

'The leader of opposition, Ramesh Chennithala, and the state Congress have been repeatedly demanding probes by the CBI and other central agencies at a time when the all-India leadership of the Congress party and president, Sonia Gandhi, have publicly declared that the central agencies like the CBI, NIA and Narcotics Bureau are being misused to target the opposition...

'The coordination between the Congress and BJP leaders in the state has become obvious with the leaders of both parties coming out with similar statements on all developing issues connected with the investigations by the central agencies,' it said.

The Left party also accused the UDF and the BJP of attacking the developmental plans of the LDF government, which it alleged got further widened with the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB).

'The Congress-BJP nexus is evident in the effort to weaponise the CAG report against the LDF government. A petition in the High Court has been filed by a leader of the RSS outfit, the Swadeshi Jagaran Manch, which wants the court to declare the bonds issued abroad as unlawful and the funds so raised by KIIFB frozen. The lawyer representing the SJM leader is a general secretary of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee, Mathew Kuzhalnadan. The Congress and the BJP have no qualms in ganging up to disrupt the pro-people programmes and developmental efforts of the LDF government.

'The CPI(M) and the LDF in Kerala have resolved to fight back against these conspiracies and expose them before the people. On November 16, 25 lakh people participated in protest actions across the state, in which the efforts of the central agencies to disrupt the pro-people development programmes were condemned,' the editorial in People's Democracy said.

The party, however, exuded confidence that as the southern state gears up for elections to the local bodies -- the three-tier panchayats, municipalities and corporations -- 'the political mobilisation that is in full swing in favour of the LDF will be a fitting rebuff to these opportunist and disruptive alignments'. PTI ASG RC