THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state assembly witnessed a fiery verbal duel between Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Opposition Leader VD Satheesan when the notice seeking leave for an adjournment motion regarding the Kodakara hawala heist case came up for discussion in the zero hour.
Congress MLA Roji M John, who moved the notice, and Satheesan targeted the ruling front by raking up the issue of alleged compromise in the investigation into the Kodakara case. Both leaders tried to establish a tacit understanding between BJP and CPM, which agitated Pinarayi.
Satheesan alleged the case was compromised by listing the BJP leaders including state president K Surendran as just witnesses to help the CPM save its face in the gold smuggling case and to save a former party secretary’s son in the Bangaluru drug case as part of a deal.
Enraged by the remarks, Pinarayi said the man pointed out by the Opposition was not involved in any drug case and they should cross-check the facts before levelling an allegation. He did not name anyone, but it was clear the accused in question was Bineesh Kodiyeri. It was for the first time the CM defended the former party secretary’s son who was arrested in Bengaluru last October.
Recently, the Narcotics Control Bureau dropped Bineesh’s name from the chargesheet in the drugs case after the officials failed to produce evidence against him. The Enforcement Directorate which arrested him for his alleged financial dealings with an accused in the Bengaluru drug racket case, has also invoked only money laundering charges against him. Satheesan attacked the state government by pointing out the latest developments in some recent cases — including gold smuggling — in which the party was on the back foot.
What’s wrong in CM meeting prime minister, asks Pinarayi
Satheesan criticised the camaraderie between the CM and BJP leaders including the Prime Minister, by referring to Pinarayi’s recent visit to New Delhi to meet Modi. A visibly agitated Pinarayi asked: “What is wrong in a chief minister meeting the prime minister of the country and drape a shawl around his neck. I have gone and met him several times. We can disagree with the politics of opponents, but have to stand united for the development of the people. This is what he shared with us,” he said.
‘The state cannot go ahead with projects like Thiruvananthapuram ring road, semi-high speed rail project, national waterway and national highway without the central support. “But the Opposition lacks a mind to see it through a development perspective. We should put up a united face for the creation of a new Kerala,” he said.