“A Chief Minister, who has been hunting political opponents and dissident voices in his state, has no right to speak about the ‘hunting’ by the central investigation agencies,” says Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala.
The senior Congress leader was referring to the CM’s statement yesterday, about writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the central agencies “overstepping their mandate” in Kerala.
“It was the Chief Minister who had written to the Centre requesting the central agencies to investigate into the matters, and now he is claiming that it wasn’t the kind of investigation that he had expected,” adds Chennithala. The probe into the various scams — gold and dollar smuggling, drug case against Bineesh Kodiyeri, Life Mission scam, and misappropriation in a few governmental projects — by the central agencies has proved dangerous for the current LDF government. Pinarayi Vijayan’s closest allies — his Principal Secretary M Sivasankar is in jail and Private Secretary CM Raveendran is under Enforcement Directorate radar. The CM had claimed in yesterday’s press meet that the ED’s evidence against Raveendran isn’t enough for an investigation.
Criticising Pinarayi Vijayan’s stance, Chennithala asked as if the CM was expecting the kind of investigation done by Kerala police “protecting accused CPM members from political murders” from the central agencies. “Interestingly, the CM, while emotional over the actions of the central agencies, raised no words against Prime Minister Narendra Modi who oversees them,” the Opposition Leader added.
He also asked how a government under investigation for various scams including charges of corruption against several government projects be considered as “corruption-free” according to the CM. Chennithala added that if the UDF comes to power, they would investigate the corruption charges against the Life Mission project.
“The Chief Minister’s claims about giving free vaccine to people are a violation of the Moral Code of Conduct and the Election Commission must probe into it,” he says. Chennithala added that it is no different from the BJP when they promised free vaccine before the Bihar elections. The CPM had criticised the BJP for their use of the vaccine to pull voters in Bihar assembly election. The current stance from the Kerala CM seems to indicate a similar strategy.
“The UDF is not against providing free vaccine to the people, but it must not be a political tool to capture votes. The Centre has not said anything about when the vaccines would be here and what the cost-sharing practice will be. And yet, Pinarayi Vijayan’s premature claims are nothing but a tactic to draw votes at the third phase of polling,” he says.