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Days after son’s arrest, Kerala CPM secy goes on leave on ‘health grounds’

The issue has come as a shot in the arm for the Opposition Congress and BJP, but CPI(M) maintained that the party is not connected in any manner with Bineesh’s acts.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram | Updated: November 14, 2020 1:43:41 am
Kodiyeri Balakrishnan (Source: Twitter)

With less than a month left for polls to local bodies, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan on Friday temporarily stepped aside from his role as the CPI(M) Kerala secretary, days after his son Bineesh’s arrest by the ED in a drug-related money laundering case in Bengaluru. However, the party attributed Balakrishnan’s temporary exit to health reasons.

After the weekly meeting, CPI(M) state secretariat in a release said, “As Kodiyeri Balakrishnan required further treatment, the secretariat accepted his plea for leave from the role of party state secretary. A Vijayaraghavan (central committee member and LDF convener) would discharge the duties of the state secretary.”

Vijayaraghavan later told the media that the decision was only an arrangement within an organisation. “When a person is ailing. There is nothing else…” he said. However, the party did not explain why nobody was given charge of secretary last year when Balakrishnan had gone abroad for his treatment.

The politburo member has been in the thick of a scandal after his son’s arrest. The ED widened the scope of the probe into Bineesh’s financial dealings.

The issue has come as a shot in the arm for the Opposition Congress and BJP, but CPI(M) maintained that the party is not connected in any manner with Bineesh’s acts.

After the ED raid on Bineesh’s premises in Kerala, the CPI(M) decided to step up attack against the central agency, saying that the BJP was using the ED as a political weapon against opponents. However, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan sought to distance himself from the raid, saying “it was not right to comment on the raid without realising about the evidence in their (ED) possession”.

In a party plenum in 2013, the CPI(M) had adopted a rectification document, applicable to party members and their families, urging party leaders to keep away from all shady activities and not to maintain links with tainted persons.

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