Updated: March 5, 2021 5:38:02 am
A DAY after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) issued summons to top executives of the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) in connection with violations of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), the CPI(M)-led government in the state on Thursday sharpened the attack on BJP and the central agency.
The ED had registered a case against KIIFB CEO K M Abraham, a former state chief secretary, and KIIFB deputy managing director Vikramjit Singh, a serving IPS officer of Kerala cadre. The KIIFB is the state government’s flagship entity to mobilise funds for infrastructure projects. The ED has picked up fault with the KIIFB raising Rs 2,150 crore masala bonds listed on the London Stock Exchange.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who has written to the Chief Election Commissioner to ensure that central investigating agencies such as the ED follow the model code of conduct, on Thursday said, “The central agencies would have seen people who surrender before them. They would have seen Congress leaders who can be cowed down. But that would not work here. This is Kerala. People would not remain silent when BJP and Congress come together to destroy the state,” Vijayan told reporters.
He said the Left government would not surrender before anyone who raises baseless allegations. “We are accountable to the people. We don’t have the tradition of succumbing to any force. The KIIFB had issued masala bond after sticking to the RBI norms…. If someone comes to impede the development of the state, that would not be allowed,’’ he said.
The ED action – registering a case against KIIFB officials and issuing summons to them – has served as an opportunity for the ruling CPI(M) to attack the BJP in the poll season when the LDF and UDF are competing to prove their prowess to take on the Sangh Parivar. The CPI(M) has been projecting the ED action as a BJP attempt to thwart Kerala’s development.
Meanwhile, the KIIFB has sent a reply to the ED notices to CEO Abraham and others. In his reply to ED deputy director (Kochi) Prasanth Kumar, Abraham said, in line with the appeal made by the state government to the Election Commission of India, “I request you to desist from all proceedings in the matter against me or officers working in KlIFB, while the MCC is in operation.’’
Abraham, who has been asked by the ED to appear before it on Friday, said the investigation so far has not revealed any clarity. He said the summons were issued without mentioning the purpose.
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