THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The BJP has accused Kerala minister KT Jaleel, who was questioned by the NIA, of trying to play the victim card by invoking religion.
BJP state president K Surendran told reporters here on Friday that the minister was questioned as part of the NIA's investigation into "terror funding and conspiracy" and not for protocol violation, as claimed by the CPM.
"By invoking religion, Jaleel is trying to play the victim card. This is a method adopted by all culprits. The minister claims he was called as a witness. But it should be remembered that those who are listed as accused are initially called for questioning in this manner," Surendran said.
The BJP leader said no central agency has given a clean chit to Jaleel and that he may be called again for further interrogation. Surendran also accused the CPM of trying to create a "communal divide" on the Jaleel issue by citing the Quran.
"There is no objection towards distribution of Quran. But Jaleel has insulted Quran by using it as a ploy for smuggling activities," Surendran said. He also asked the CPM not to mix religion with criminal cases to misguide the people.
'CM stifling protests'
The BJP president accused Chief Minister Pinarayi VIjayan of trying to stifle protests by using the police. He added that Pinarayi had no right to speak on COVID protocol violations when his own party had held a mourning procession of 5,000 people in the capital which was led by minister A K Balan.
"The Chief Minister is speaking about COVID protocol violations to weaken people's protests against the government. If he is serious, then Balan should be booked first for violating the norms," Surendran said.
He said the BJP will further intensify its agitation seeking Jaleel's resignation in the coming days.
'UDF, LDF deal'
Surendran wondered whether the UDF, which had demanded a probe by mutiple central agencies, has taken a U-turn from its stance. Surendran alleged there was a secret understanding between the UDF and LDF on the gold smuggling case.
The BJP president said Chennithala had remarked the other day that a judicial probe into the gold smuggling case would have sufficed. He said the remark proved that there was an understanding between both fronts.