Gold Smuggling Case; Political War Gimmicking?

A significant political conflict is emerging over allegations of corruption within Kerala's extensive cooperative banking sector. The state government, led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, has expressed concerns about the central government's recent involvement in the state's cooperative sector. Vijayan has claimed that there is an attempt to undermine the credibility of Kerala's cooperative sector, and these destabilizing efforts began during demonetization.

The ruling CPI (M) and the opposition Congress in Kerala are on a “political war” out on the streets in the state, with the latter seemingly adamant for the resignation of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the Gold Smuggling case. However, the Strongest Left “Captain” Vijayan is more adamant, terming the protests by the Congress as well as the BJP as “part of a political agenda”.

The tug of war between the Congress and the CPI(M) took an ugly turn with two youth Congress men raising slogans against the CM inside a plane when he was on his way back to the state capital from Kannur. The incident on the plane triggered violent protests in many parts of the state — CPM and DYFI workers attacked the KPCC headquarters and clashes were reported in several places.


The fight now battled in the street is between those who rule and those in the opposition. A political fight for just political gains or gimmicks? This is only that relates to political wars, just a fight for supremacy of the leaders within the party fold. The question that the people or the entire Kerala society should ask is if it holds good for them. Even when the CPI(M) now blames the Congress of unleashing terror in the streets in the name of protest, they might not have forgotten the stone pelting incident of Former Chief Minister and Congress Leader Oommen Chandy when their comrades pelted stones at him on his alleged involvement in solar scam case. The incident happened in Kannur and no “unleashing terror” mumblings from the top Comrades came out at that time.

And Now, the same CPM is crying foul over terror in the streets and black flag protest against the Chief Minister. The CPM might have forgotten the siege of the state secretariat, which they call as a protest against the corrupt rulers, including the then Chief Minister Oomen Chandy. The siege of the secretariat can in one way called as unleashing terror against the people and the government, a political analyst said.

Well, what then is all this gimmick? The CPI(M) and its other Left organisations want to project the waving of back flag by the two youth Congress men against the CM in the plane as an act that challenged the democracy. In his facebook post, Vijayan said that the protest against him in the plane was a preplanned one as was quite evident from the response of the Congress Leadership in the state. Stating that it was a continuation of the unnecessary protests staged by the UDF, he observed such incidents as a challenge to democracy and the public.


The Left, which has been in the dark of fighting the Congress in the Gold smuggling case, has now got the baton to fight back in the name of protecting democracy as the Chief Minister has asked. Moreover, political pundits are also divided after the incident in the plane. Some say that the protest crossed the limits and others say that the CPI(M) no way can call it as anti democratic or a protest unleashing terror as they have unleashed more terror if so while protesting against Oommen Chandy. Well, the Congress now has to find reasons for the incident unfolded in the plane where as the CPI(M) has wielded it as a strong weapon against the agitators.

Political pundits make it clear that “agitations” should never get ugly on the streets. They should maintain decorum and all political parties should stick on to their policies. “Politics is not war on the streets,” they quipped.


Kerala Leader of Opposition VD Satheesan said that Vijayan should “stay away from the Chief Minister’s chair” in the wake of the recent allegations raised by Swapna Suresh, prime accused in the Gold smuggling case. He also alleged that attempts have been made to reach a compromise with Swapna Suresh and that the state government and the CPIM are moving forward by taking rule of law in their hands.


Swapna Suresh gave a confidential statement under section 164 (recording of confessions and statements) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) alleging the CM’s involvement. She alleged that in 2016, M Sivasankar, the former Principal Secretary to the Kerala CM, had asked her to send baggage to Dubai which belonged to Vijayan. However, when the bag was brought to the consulate, it was found that it contained currencies and the entire gold smuggling business had begun from then. Later, the allegations raised got murkier with the release of an audio clip on Friday in which a journalist-cum-real estate dealer named Shai Kiran is heard saying that Vijayan’s and CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s funds are being sent to the US through Believers’ Church, a church founded by Kerala-based Christian evangelist K P Yohannan. She also alleged that Kiran was forcing her to withdraw her statement, saying that he had spoken to top IPS officers in the state to settle the issue. She also named Vijayan’s wife Kamala and their daughter Veena and alleged that they too were involved in the smuggling.


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