Kerala CM, Cong leader spar in Assembly over gold smuggling case
Thursday - January 14, 2021 2:06 pm , Category : INDIA
Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 14 (IANS) The Kerala Assembly on Thursday witnessed heated exchanges between Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Congress legislator P.T. Thomas over the gold smuggling case.In the adjournment motion moved by Thomas, he came down heavily on the Chief Minister and asked whether the first accused in the gold smuggling case, Swapna Prabha Suresh, was present during the marriage of the CM's daughter Veena held at Cliff House, Vijayan's official residence.Thomas said: "We want to know whether Swapna had attended the marriage or not. I am satisfied with your reply but I want a yes or no".Vijayan expressed anger at the remarks and said: "You don't know Pinarayi Vijayan, the marriage was conducted in a big hall in Cliff House and only close friends and relatives participated. Swapna was not there."Thomas also attacked the Chief Minister's Office and said that his former Principal Secretary and the most powerful bureaucrat in the state at that time, M. Sivasankar, is in jail in connection with the gold smuggling case. He said that the Chief Minister's Additional Private Secretary C.M. Raveendran was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate twice.Thomas said: "Kerala CM's office has turned into a den of smugglers and anti-socials and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will be remembered as the first Kerala CM to land in jail".Vijayan retorted: "M. Sivasankar became an IAS officer during A.K. Antony's time as the Chief Minister and he was KSEB chairman and education department secretary during the Congress-led UDF regime. He was a capable person but he had some faults."