Thiruvananthapuram: With the Pinarayi Vijayan-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) government caught in a bind over the controversial gold smuggling case, it first suspended the one-day Kerala Assembly session scheduled for Monday and now on Saturday it decided to put off the proposed meet of the LDF, scheduled to be held on Tuesday, for the same reason of Covid-19 spread.
The gold smuggling case with large scale ramifications first surfaced when P.S. Sarith, a former employee of the UAE Consulate here, was arrested by the Customs on July 5 when he was facilitating smuggling of 30 kg gold in diplomatic baggage to Thiruvananthapuram from Dubai.
It turned murkier when the name of Swapna Suresh, a former employee of the UAE Consulate here and employed with the state IT Department, surfaced. The case turned full circle when its links with senior IAS official M. Sivasankar, who has been suspended and booted out from two key posts — secretary to Vijayan and also the State IT secretary, were unearthed
Both the Congress and the BJP are up in arms demanding the resignation of Vijayan, which he dismissed as just a ‘wish’ of theirs.
Hence it is now clear, come what may, Vijayan will not go.
And with the CPI-M giving a clean chit, despite the number two in Vijayan’s office, Sivasankar’s fate would be known in the coming week, as he has been summoned to appear for the second time before the NIA officials at Kochi on Monday.
Even the central committee of the CPI-M has decided to stand behind its veteran politburo member and the only government that the CPI-M leads in the country in Kerala.
The second biggest ally in the LDF — the CPI, known for shouting from the roof tops, if any aberration takes place, however has turned silent, which shows that Vijayan will have no issues, whatever happens to Sivasankar.
Meanwhile, from the statements of the arrested Swapna, Sarith and Sandip, to the Customs, they appear to have given a clean chit to Sivasankar, whom they have described as a ‘good friend’, but have put the UAE Consulate top official, here in the dock, as he was paid a cut from each of the gold consignment, that was smuggled by them.
So the coming week might be more crucial for Sivasankar and not for Vijayan, as was earlier perceived in the political circles in the state.