Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 9 : A furore has broken out in Kerala after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s close aide and Assistant Private Secretary, C. M. Ravindran said he would not appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) despite being summoned on Thursday.
While the opposition Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have gone hammer and tongs at Vijayan for shielding Ravindran, the top Communist Party Of India (Marxist) leaders are defending and giving him a clean chit.
This is the second time in succession and overall the third time that Ravindran was admitted to the Medical College hospital here on Tuesday. The latest hospital report suggests that a MRI scan of his head would be done as he was suffering from constant headaches.
According to his health report, he continues to have post-Covid syndrome and once the MRI report comes later on Wednesday, the further course of treatment would be decided. Therefore he would not appear before the ED on Thursday.
Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly and senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala said Ravindran should be examined by a panel of AIIMS doctors as it is amusing that every time the ED sends him a notice, he gets himself admitted to the hospital.
State Congress President Mullappally Ramachandran said Ravindran is a “treasure house” of all the secrets of Vijayan and therefore all steps are being taken so that he does not appear before the ED.
State BJP president K. Surendran slammed Health Minister K. K. Shailaja for providing the requisite help at the Medical College hospital which is directly under her. That is how each time the ED comes after him, he runs to the hospital. Shailaja must come clean on the matter.
Defending Ravindran and giving him a clean chit, Tourism Minister and CPI(M) leader Kadakampally Surendran said Ravindran is an official with a clean track record and had proved it over several years.
“He is not the one who will feign sickness. Even if he is served a notice to appear 30 times, his health has to be of paramount importance. His health condition now is not good,” said Surendran.
State CPI(M) Secretary and Left Democratic Front (LDF) Convenor A. Vijayaraghavan said both Chennithala and K. Surendran are spreading canards about Ravindran but their main target is the Kerala CM.
In November, a day after Ravindran was served the first notice by the Central agency, he had tested coronavirus positive. After his self-quarantine period ended, a second notice was issued to him on November 25 but he was hospitalised within hours after complaining of breathing problems.
The first notice was served in early November after the gold smuggling case prime accused Swapna Suresh’s alleged links with Ravindran had surfaced.
Ravindran is a CPI(M) nominee and is posted in Vijayan’s office. Vijayan has acknowledged that Ravindran has known him for the past several years.
He was reportedly posted in the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) by bypassing rules related to his educational qualifications and age.
A native of Kozhikode district, Ravindran has been a vital cog between the party and the top leaders of the CPI(M) and was on the personal staff of party leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan from 2006-11, when he was the Home Minister in the V. S. Achuthanandan government.
When Vijayan took over as the Chief Minister in 2016, Ravindran wielded major clout and his alleged close proximity with accused senior IAS officer M. Sivasankar is often talked about.
Incidentally soon after Ravindran failed to appear before the ED, the agency started a probe into several business ventures of Ravindran, based on a few complaints received by it.
The ED officials went around two dozen business establishments in Kozhikode and Kannur districts and have reportedly got several leads.
After Ravindran failed to appear for the second time, the ED asked the state Registration department to submit a list of properties owned by Ravindran.
Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.