With the Opposition demanding resignation of Kerala Higher Education Minister K T Jaleel for being questioned by Enforcement Directorate (ED) for alleged money laundering in the gold smuggling case, the CPI(M) on Saturday said that the demand for resignation is politically motivated and reminded the Congress about its reaction when its own leaders were “targeted” by the ED.
In a statement, the CPI(M) state secretariat said, “The state unit of Congress, which had then stated that ED was a political weapon, has now literally got converted into BJP.”
The CPI(M), which did not officially comment on the issue on Friday, also slammed the ED, saying that the agency chief’s disclosure in Delhi — that Jaleel was questioned — is an “unusual act”. The party stated, “It is pertinent to note that ED has been facing the allegation that the agency has been used for political ends.”
The ED questioned Jaleel, a CPI-(M)-backed legislator, on Friday in connection with alleged money laundering behind the smuggling of gold using diplomatic cargo channel to UAE consulate in Kerala.
Jaleel has not officially reacted to the developments, aside from posting on Facebook that “Truth will prevail…”
In a statement, the CPI(M) state secretariat said, “The ED had raided Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot’s elder brother Agrasen’s premises. Congress Kerala chief Mullappally Ramachandran and other state leaders are feigning ignorance that Rajasthan Transport Minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas was questioned by ED for seven hours. Congress leader and former Union minister P Chidambaram was arrested by ED in INX Media money laundering case. Former Karnataka minister D K Shivakumar was arrested in a money laundering case…”
On all such occasions, the party maintained, “the Congress had stated that BJP was using investigating agencies, including ED, for political ends. The Congress national leadership should now make clear whether the Kerala unit is part of it.”
The party state secretariat stated that right at the outset of the gold smuggling case the Pinarayi Vijayan government had welcomed a probe by any agency. The LDF government had not tried to thwart any investigating agency, and that attitude stems from the state government’s conviction that it has not committed any mistake, the party said.
“It is mysterious that central agencies have not so far questioned the persons who had sent the diplomatic baggage from UAE and those who had received it here,” the party stated.
On Jaleel’s questioning by ED, state Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran told the media that an explanation was sought from him and there was no need for him to resign due to that, PTI reported. On the Opposition’s protests, he said, “What’s the point of all these protests? They (ED) called him to seek some explanation; what’s the big deal? ”
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