Cong protests, seeks Vijayan’s answer in dollar smuggling case

For the second day in succession, the Congress-led Opposition on Friday disrupted proceedings in the Kerala Assembly demanding Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to break his silence over the fresh revelation that surfaced in the gold smuggling case.

Prime accused Swapna Suresh had 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 here.

After walking out of the Assembly during Question Hour, the opposition legislators squatted in front of the main door shouting slogans against Vijayan for his ‘abject silence’ in the dollar case revelation.

Shouting slogans, the MLAs came to the main gate of the Assembly and like on Thursday when they held a mock Assembly session, on Friday they lined up and created a wall. All the legislators held their hands and termed it as a ‘wall of corruption’.

Leader of Opposition V.D. Satheesan said that Vijayan has been caught red-handed in his role in the dollar smuggling case, but he has gone silent.

“The people of the state wish to hear what he has to say. This very same Vijayan went hammer and tongs against the then Chief Minister Oommen Chandy when the solar scam lady raised allegations and shamelessly Vijayan registered cases against Chandy and others. If he did it then, today he has been caught red-handed in the allegations levelled by dollar case accused Swapna Suresh.

“Forget about registering a case, Vijayan is not even willing to give answers to what has been raised. We have decided to continue our protests against Vijayan outside the Assembly from now on,” said Satheesan.

Friday was the last day of the present Assembly session.

The Congress-led opposition is in an upbeat mood since a show-cause notice of the Customs dated July 29 came out on Wednesday.

In the notice, it was mentioned that ‘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’. Since the revelation, Vijayan has gone silent as the opposition is demanding answers.