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Gold smuggling case: Cong MLA reiterates charges against Pinarayi daughter, dares him to take legal action if wrong

While debating on the adjournment motion moved by the Opposition seeking that Vijayan face probe into latest allegations raised against him by Swapna Suresh, Congress MLA Mathew Kuzhalnadan tried to link the Chief Minister's daughter Veena with the scandal.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. (File)

A DAY after he raised allegations relating to the gold smuggling case against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s daughter in the Assembly, Congress legislator Mathew Kuzhalnadan on Wednesday dared Vijayan to take legal action if his allegations were unfounded.

While debating on the adjournment motion moved by the Opposition seeking that Vijayan face probe into latest allegations raised against him by gold smuggling case accused Swapna Suresh, Kuzhalnadan had on Tuesday tried to link the Chief Minister’s daughter Veena with the scandal.

He alleged that Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) director Jaik Balakumar had been a mentor of Veena, who is managing director of IT firm Exalogic Solutions. What prompted the Congress MLA to make such a reference was that it was PwC that hired Suresh for Space Park under IT Department after she quit the UAE Consulate.

When the scandal emerged in 2020, it was found that Suresh with a fake certificate made a backdoor entry into Space Park. Later, the government put a ban on PwC for two years and asked it to pay back Suresh salary.

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Kuzhalnadan on Tuesday told the Assembly that after the scandal was reported, Exalogic’s website was down for a while and when it was up again, the reference to PwC director as mentor was removed. “Veena had stated that she sees Balakumar as a mentor. That reference to PwC director as mentor was removed from Exalogic website because Suresh was hired by PwC,’’ said the Congress MLA.

Irked over the allegation, Vijayan told the Assembly, “You are saying nonsense. My daughter had never mentioned such a person as a mentor at any stage. Assembly is not a venue for uttering anything that comes to mouth to tarnish even those who are sitting at home.”

On Wednesday, speaking to reporters, the Congress MLA reiterated the allegation that the Exalogic website had mentioned the PwC director as the mentor to Vijayan’s daughter’s firm. “I challenge the Chief Minister to take legal action against me if what I had raised is rubbish. It was PwC which had given a job to Suresh at Space Park under the IT Department. Besides, the government had given several contracts to PwC without any transparency. The government could not so far recover from PwC the salary paid to Suresh,” Kuzhalnadan alleged.

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Reacting to the allegation, Veena’s husband and Kerala Public Works Minister Muhammad Riyas said, “This is old wine in new bottle. People had rejected all this in the last elections.”

On Wednesday, accused Swapna Suresh again joined the issue, challenging the Chief Minister. Referring to Vijayan’s statement in the Assembly that he had only official meeting with Suresh along with the Consul-General, she said, “He is lying. I had gone to his official residence even after 7 pm for secret meetings. I dare them to release the CCTV footage at Cliff House (CM’s official residence) from 2016 to 2020.”

First published on: 29-06-2022 at 11:40:58 pm
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