The Opposition Congress and the BJP in Kerala have demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan after M Sivasankar, his former Principal Secretary and top bureaucrat, was detained by sleuths of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) at an Ayurvedic hospital in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday.The Kerala High Court on Wednesday dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of senior IAS officer M. Shivshankar, a close aide of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
As soon as the Kerala High Court dismissed the anticipatory bail petition of IAS officer M. Shivshankar, the Enforcement Directorate took him into custody soon after. He has been detained at the Ayurveda Hospital in Thiruvananthapuram, where he was admitted. Soon after, the statements of Congress and BJP leaders started appearing and they said that now Vijayan should resign.
Earlier, the ED had asked the court permission for M Shivashankar’s custodial interrogation and alleged that he was in constant touch with prime accused Swapna Suresh.
It has also been alleged that M Shivashankar helped Swapna Suresh to manage her finances through his chartered accountant.
The ED, according to sources, wants to find out if Shivashankar helped Swapna Suresh in managing the proceeds of crime and was he also part of the gold smuggling racket.
Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muralitharan reacted saying that this is the beginning of the investigation leading up to the big fish. Muralitharan said that the Kerala government and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) are trying their best to thwart the current investigation by various national agencies, but nothing can be done to stop the investigation from going ahead. The heat of this investigation will reach big people.
Muralitharan said “Vijayan should resign now. If he leaves his post, then he can reduce his loss somewhat. Ever since the case of gold smuggling has come to light in Kerala, both Congress and BJP have been demanding the resignation of the Chief Minister of the state, Vijayan.”
Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala has also sought Vijayan’s resignation on this issue several times and he has still said that Vijayan should immediately quit the chief minister’s post. Chennithala has accused Vijayan’s office of being directly involved in gold smuggling. At the same time Kerala BJP chief K Surendran said that it has now become clear that the CMO intervened in the gold smuggling case. He said that when the agencies question and answer Shivshankar, more secrets will emerge. The court order has exposed the Left government in the state.