New Delhi, Oct 16 (PTI) The BJP on Friday demanded the resignation of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan over the gold smuggling case, alleging that those accused in the case are 'hand in glove' with the people in power.
'The moral authority of the chief minister is lost. The BJP has been demanding, the people of Kerala have been demanding that the chief minister should resign owning moral responsibility of the whole incident,' Union minister and Kerala BJP leader V Muraleedharan told reporters here.
He said the Left government in the state had first asked the Centre to order a probe into the matter and has now moved court against the CBI, claiming that agency does not have the authority to investigate.
'This shows that those involved in smuggling gold are hand-in-glove with those in power,' he alleged, adding that this case is distinct from other cases of gold smuggling because it is 'directly' linked to the chief minister's office.
Vijayan has been changing his stand on the matter from the day the case was registered and accused were arrested, Muraleedharan claimed.
The Union minister noted that the case relates to the seizure of 30 kg of gold in Thiruvananthapuram airport on July 5 after the precious metal was found camouflaged in diplomatic baggage.
The NIA, CBI and the ED are probing various angles of the case and several people, including two former employees of the UAE consulate in Thiruvananthapuram have been arrested by central agencies in connection with the case.
The BJP leader claimed that efforts have been made to destroy evidence and mentioned a fire incident in a government department, allegedly linked to the case. The principal secretary to the chief minister has been suspended as well, he added. PTI KR KR NSD