Pinarayi should remove himself as in charge of Vigilance: Ramesh Chennithala

Pinarayi Vijayan says that the state will continue with the K-Fon project despite the investigation and ‘political barriers’
Pinarayi should remove himself as in charge of Vigilance: Ramesh Chennithala
VijayakumarBlathur

After months of supporting the external agencies’ investigations and probes, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has taken a U-turn. Addressing the media, the CM lashed out at the agencies, and alleged that they are functioning with a “pre-decided plan”. This allegation is made in the wake of the Enforcement Directorate probing into the various government projects, especially the K-Fon — a low cost internet service by the state.

The ED has been questioning M Sivasankar, former Principal Secretary to the CM, for the past couple of days. The agency had recently learnt of the officer’s connection to several key state projects, and the ED suspects that Sivasankar may have had irregular dealings in a few of them. This has led the agency to probe into these projects to find irregularities. Following suit are the National Investigation Agency, the CBI, and central GST Intelligence that are looking into the projects. However, what attracted the ire of Pinarayi Vijayan would be the K-Fon project that has been close to the government.

Pinarayi should remove himself as in charge of Vigilance: Ramesh Chennithala
Kerala Vigilance names Sivasankar as fifth accused in Life Mission scam

As the agencies get closer, the CM said that such a probe would “weaken the democratic system” and that the state government would not surrender its “constitutional powers and the right to take policy decisions. Pinarayi added that the Centre has as much responsibility as the State to “implement the directive principles”. However, Pinarayi had been the one to invite the central agencies to probe into the cases. While CPI (M) central committee leader Sitaram Yechury and party state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan had been criticising the agencies and their “motivations”, Pinarayi kept saying that the investigations were on the right track.

Pinarayi should remove himself as in charge of Vigilance: Ramesh Chennithala
Sivasankar in possession of an iPhone from the Life Mission scam, reports ED

Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala alleges that the CM’s change of heart comes from the fact that the agencies are probing very close to the CM. The Congress leader added that the CM is threatening the agencies that are investigating the gold smuggling and drug case, in which Bineesh Kodiyeri is under ED custody. “The CM should quit the Vigilance department. Oommen Chandy did it when there were allegations against him,” he said. This is in the background of the state Vigilance department naming Sivasankar as the fifth in their Life Mission scam report. The department has also questioned Swapna Suresh, PS Sarith, and Sandeep Nair. “Since the Vigilance department has named Sivasankar as the fifth accused, and if that is the case then the CM, who is the chairman of Life Mission, is the first. For a fair investigation, Pinarayi should give up his Vigilance post,” added Chennithala.

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