Shah attacks Vijayan on gold smuggling case; Cong says just a show


Union Home Minister Amit Shah on his whirlwind election campaign in Kerala on Wednesday attacked Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan over the infamous gold smuggling case, while the Congress dismissed it all saying that it was just a show.

Shah arrived at Kochi, late on Tuesday night and his first stop was Tripunithura constituency. From there he headed to Kanjirapally in Kottayam district and then to Chathanoor in Kollam.

Hitting out at the Pinarayi Vijayan government, Shah asked if the prime accused in the gold smuggling case (Swapna Suresh) had worked in his office.

“Was she not paid Rs 3 lakh as monthly salary and did she ever travel on government money? Did your Principal Secretary (M.Sivasankar) call up on behalf of the accused and tried to influence the Customs?” asked Shah.

He said that while the Congress-led UDF was involved in the Solar scam, the Vijayan government, on the other hand, was caught in the Dollar scam.

“We were also into Solar business, but it’s not in the manner what the Congress government had done in the state,” the Home Minister added.

Shah also slammed the way, Vijayan had dealt with the Sabarimala Temple issue and the way the devotees were handled by the police.

“Congress claims to be very secular, but if you look in Kerala, the Indian Union Muslim League is with them, so it’s better not to speak much about their secular credentials,” he said.

However, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala brush off all the war of words between Shah and the CPI-M as nothing but a show.

“Shah and Vijayan are hand in glove and hence there is no progress in gold smuggling case. If it was any other opposition Chief Minister whose office was entangled in such a case, then it would have been the end of it. The gold smuggling case surfaced in July last year and now we are in March and see, there has been no progress in the case. Both Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have a good relation with Vijayan. This relation is no longer a tacit one, but it’s now an open thing. If it was any other Chief Minister, he would have had to resign, but Vijayan is still continuing with his post,” said Surjewala.

Shah is ssheduled for another meeting at Malampuzha in Palakkad district and later he will leave for Tamil Nadu.