Central agencies have taken up 'election campaign', alleges Kerala CM

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday launched a scathing attack on the central investigation agencies alleging that they have voluntarily taken over the Assembly election campaign for the BJP and Congress.

Addressing a press conference here, Vijayan said that the aggression of 'some investigation agencies' has intensified since the announcement of the Assembly elections.

"The latest examples of this are the moves by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) against Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) and the statement that Customs filed before the High Court.

"Customs is now leading the 'campaign'. The statement given by the Commissioner of Customs in the High Court is direct proof of this. In this case, the Commissioner of Customs, who made the statement, was not even a party to the case. A statement before a magistrate under section 164 is normally received only by the investigating officer at the stage of the investigation. The Kerala High Court has clearly stated that the investigating agency should not disclose such statement made by an individual directly or indirectly," he said.

Vijayan said that the Customs Commissioner, who is not a party to the case, has come forward with the aim of defaming members of the state cabinet and the Speaker.

"It (Customs) seeks to protect the narrow political interests of the ruling party at the center. From the starting of the gold smuggling case, Congress and BJP in the state have colluded to use it to defame LDF government," he alleged.

Further, Kerala Chief Minister attacked Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan for his remarks against the Left.

"I have heard a Minister of State who we believe is in charge of the Union Ministry of External Affairs say some things even today. He is said to be in charge of the Middle East. Is there any estimate of how much gold has been smuggled since he became a minister? Didn't the smuggling of gold through the diplomatic channel start after this minister took office? Does this minister have anything to do with the person who persuaded the accused to say that the smuggling was not in a diplomatic bag?" he said.

"When the Finance Minister said in Parliament that the gold was smuggled in a diplomatic bag, why did this Minister of State repeatedly take the opposite view? It is the same minister who is now wielding the sword of customs against the state government," alleged Vijayan.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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