THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The ruling CPM leadership in Kerala believes that the gold smuggling case and related controversies have tarnished the Left government's image. The party state secretariat meeting here on Friday witnessed severe criticism against the Chief Minister's Office.
Though no fingers were directly pointed at the Chief Minister himself, most of them were indirectly aimed at the CPM strongman. The scam showed that there was evidently a sore lack of vigil in running the CMO, observed the party. There was a failure in foreseeing and controlling bureaucrats in the state, which has helped the Opposition to cash in on such controversies.
Allegations over the role of the CMO in the smuggling case have brought down the hard-earned popularity and public support that the state government had earned through its anti-COVID fight. Ahead of the coming elections, the Left had managed to carve out a favourable political environment, which has now been badly dented.
The CPM has decided to launch massive counter campaigns in August to explain the party stand in the smuggling row. The party is of the view that the government need not show any special favours to the former principal secretary to the Kerala CM M Sivasankar.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan explained his stand on the smuggling row before the party leadership. Pinarayi listed out Sivasankar's lapses before the party leadership and stated that the onus lies solely with his former secretary. Pinarayi however assured his party colleagues that there need not be any concern over the smuggling case per se. If the investigation moves in the right direction, it could even lead to a few parties in the Opposition, he said.
The criticism against the Chief Minister's Office comes at a time when there are demands from within the CPM itself that the party should exercise more control over the CMO. There are indications that party Kannur district secretary MV Jayarajan who had been the CM's Private Secretary for a brief period may return to the same post.