Kerala BJP asks CM to reply to Shah's questions

by IANS |

Thiruvananthapuram, March 8 (IANS) A day after Union Home Minister Amit Shah took on Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, shooting a volley of questions at him in the gold smuggling and reverse dollar hawala cases that have rocked the state for months now, state BJP president K. Surendran on Monday demanded the answers.

"It's now Vijayan's turn to respond to the various questions that was asked by Shah at the political rally held here on Sunday. Vijayan has to respond and cannot duck these questions," said Surendran.

Vijayan in the past one week has been going hammer and tongs against the various central agencies, especially the Customs and the Enforcement Directorate, after they took major steps in these cases that have haunted the Left government.

Shah in the course of his political speech, billed as the curtain raiser to the April 6 Assembly polls asked Vijayan to answer if the main accused in the gold smuggling case (without taking Swapna Suresh's name) worked in a department under Vijayan; was she given a monthly salary of Rs 3 lakh; whether the accused was taken on foreign tours by him or his officials; besides she being a visitor at his official residence.

Shah asked Vijayan to answer in "Yes or No" to his queries.

Vijayan had in the past said he had no clue of Suresh getting a job and had maintained stoic silence when the Congress-led opposition alleged that she was a frequent visitor at his official residence.

It was only much later that Vijayan, last year pointed out that she would have come along with the officials of the UAE Consulate office here, to his official residence.

Shah also pointed out that a witness in the gold smuggling case died under suspicious circumstances and asked if any proper probe was done on it.

Surendran when asked about this 'death', said, he has no knowledge of it and since it was the Union Home Minister who pointed out, he would have done it based on proper information.

"I do not know of it," added Surendran.

With the election campaigning picking pace, both the Congress and the BJP would be raising these cases and issues related to them and the Left poll managers would likely have tough time.

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