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Oppn in Kerala demands CBI probe in gold smuggling case
Thiruvananthapuram, June 30 - The Congress-led opposition demanded a CBI probe into the gold smuggling case on Thursday, a day after the prime accused Swapna Suresh alleged that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan with lying in the Assembly.
While interacting with media, Leader of Opposition V.D.Satheesan said the way Vijayan handed over the Solar scam case (a scam that broke out Aduring Oommen Chandy's term 2011-16) to the CBI, he should assign the gold smuggling case too.
On Wednesday night, Swapna told the media that the chief minister who refused to acknowledge her in the beginning, later changed his version and said that she had visited his official residence along with UAE diplomats.
"Let me tell you, I have gone to his official residence several times with UAE officials and also alone. I was allowed to walk into his residence and his office in the Secretariat without any security issues. I challenge him to release the CCTV visuals between 2016 and 2020 of his official residence and office in the Secretariat," she said.
Demanding CCTV visuals, Satheesan said: "When Vijayan as the CPI-M state secretary in 2013 demanded the CCTV visuals (when allegations surfaced against Chandy), now we demand the same and challenge him to come out with the visuals of his office and official residence."
"We demand that the case be handed over to the CBI," he added.
Satheesan also pointed out that the opposition will now move a privilege motion against Vijayan for lying in the Assembly to questions raised by Congress MLA Mathew Kuzhalnadan.
In the Assembly on Tuesday, Vijayan said Swapna is a person who is an accused in gold smuggling and other cases and the Congress-led Opposition is treating her words as the ultimate truth and using them here. He also referred to her as someone who is now being guided by Sangh Parivar forces.
Swapna early this month testified before a magistrate under Section 164 (5) where she claimed that Vijayan and his wife and their daughter Veena had smuggled currency to the UAE.
On Wednesday, she said it was she who had facilitated numerous meetings with the UAE Consul General at the Chief Minister's residence which was against all protocol as permission was not taken from the Ministry of External Affairs.
"With regard to carrying currency in his luggage from here to the UAE, he used the diplomatic channel because here, given his position he can get through Customs and everything without any issues, but he wanted diplomatic immunity in the UAE and it was facilitated by us," said Swapna.
She then turned her ire against Veena Vijayan, daughter of Vijayan, and said she was the brain behind the sale of entire Kerala's health data bank that was handed over to Sprinklr (soon after the Covid pandemic set in).
"This was told to me by M. Sivasankar (the then principal secretary to Vijayan). He was very disturbed and told me that he might be in trouble. He shared all this with me because we were very close then. He was worried if he would be made the scapegoat and that he might be arrested as Veena was the master brain behind the data transfer to Sprinklr," added Swapna.
She said that she has shared every detail of Veena's IT company Exalogica with the national agencies and is possession of copies of everything, including videos.
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