UDF, LDF Competing for Scams: In Kerala, Amit Shah Hits Out at CM Over Smuggling Cases


Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday slammed Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for calling central probe agencies as political tools of the BJP-led NDA government and asked him to make it clear whether the main accused in the gold and dollar smuggling cases worked in his office or not. Speaking at the culmination of the BJP’s rally ‘Vijaya Yathra’ at the Shanghumugham Beach here, he also sought to know if the Chief Minister’s Office tried to influence the customs officials in the case.

“The chief minister is alleging that the central agencies are acting as political tools (of BJP-led NDA government). I would like to ask a few questions. I want to ask the CM if the Dollar/gold scam main accused was working in his office or not?”, he asked, referring to Swapna Suresh, who has been arrested in connection with the cases. Suresh was removed from a post in the Space Park project under the Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Ltd after her name cropped up in connection with the gold smuggling through diplomatic channel last year.

A day after the Customs, probing the gold smuggling case, claimed Suresh has made “shocking revelations” against him and others over the dollar ‘smuggling’, Vijayan had on Saturday hit out at the agency saying it was trying to “defame” state cabinet members in connection with the case. Vijayan had alleged that the probe agencies were being used for carrying out a campaign for the BJP and Congress in the state going for assembly elections on April 6.

Shah also said Kerala used to be known for development, literacy and for promoting tourism, but “with the ruling LDF and opposition UDF coming to power alternately has resulted in making the state a platform for political violence.”

‘Metroman’ E Sreedharan, who was also present at the event, said he was ready to take up any responsibility given to him by the BJP, which he had recently joined.

“For the last 67 years I was a government servant.Many people have asked me why I ventured into politics after these many years. For 67 years, I worked as part of many projects for this country.” “I am still energetic and want to utilise my energy for the state of Kerala. Whatever responsibility is given to me I will take it up with all courage and energy,” he said at the rally marking the culmination of the Vijay Yatra taken out by BJP state president K Surendran from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram, ahead of the April 6 assembly polls.

Shah also wrapped a shawl around Sreedharan welcoming him into the BJP. He was all praise for the 88-year old former technocrat,who was part of various developmentprojects in the country.

“I would like to say a few words about Sreedhran ji.An engineer and a teacher, who was part of various developmentalprojects. He is known as Metroman because he constructed the first Metro in the country. But we cannot ignore his engineering marvel- the Konkan Railway- which connected southern India to the rest of the country in a rapid manner,” Shah said.

“I am already 56. Many times, I have felt that it’s time to stop. But even at his age, Sreedharan ji is energetic and ready to work for this country. I would like to salute him. The infrastructure developer, Metroman has decided to join BJP for the nation building,” Shah added. The ‘Metroman’, who is all set to contest the assembly polls on a BJP ticket, had recently resigned from the post of DMRC’s Principal Advisor.

Sreedharan, now a member of the BJP state Election Committee, said he has requested the party leadership to field him from a constituency not far from his residence in Ponnani in Malappuram district. Well-known Malayalam actor Devan, who merged his Kerala People’s Party with BJP,was also present at the massive rally.

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