In a first of its kind, the Congress-led opposition after being denied permission to seek leave for an adjournment motion demanding the resignation of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan over the fresh revelation in the gold smuggling case, held a mock session outside the main gate of the Assembly on Thursday.
The prime accused in the gold smuggling case, Swapna Suresh has alleged that a packet of foreign currency was sent to Vijayan while he was on a visit to the UAE in 2017, through a diplomat of its Consul General’s office.
Senior legislator P.T. Thomas sought leave for the motion, but Speaker M.B. Rajesh said since the matter is sub-judice it cannot be given permission to move this.
Following this an angry opposition decided to boycott the day’s session and trooped out of the house and marched to the front gate of the Kerala Assembly.
In front of the assembly, chairs were placed and all the opposition legislators sat and Thomas pointed out that the details of the role of Vijayan has now come out in the show cause notice issued by the Customs to Swapna and other accused on the issue of illegal export of dollars abroad.
“The show cause notice, dated July 29 came out on Wednesday and Swapna Suresh says M. Sivasankar (then secretary to Vijayan) called her and said there was a very important packet that had to be sent to the UAE to Chief Minister, who had reached the UAE on the previous day. Sarith collected the packet and gave to the diplomat Ahmed Al Doukhi, for carrying it to the UAE. Sarith informed her unofficially that he had brought the said packet to the Consulate for screening it in the X-Ray machine and that the packet contained currency,” said Thomas.
Later Leader of Opposition V.D. Satheesan said not allowing the opposition to even present the leave for the adjournment motion is strange.
“Just recall the events years back when this very same Vijayan was demanding the resignation of the then Chief Minister Oommen Chandy when the solar scam accused levelled allegations and what all they created in the state on that case. Today, just in the same manner when an allegation in the dollar case was raised, Vijayan is taking cover and is not even saying a word. He could have at least spoken on the floor of the house. This is in no way acceptable and hence we have no other way but to boycott the house,” said Satheesan.
With the opposition up in arms and the present assembly session to end on Friday, there could be more action from the opposition.