Kerala

ED’s Secretariat Sweep: Probing Gold Smuggling and Targeting Veena Vijayan

Unprecedented Challenges for Kerala's Chief Minister and the CPM

Thiruvananthapuram: If the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) investigation into the gold smuggling case reaches the Chief Minister’s office, it may implicate his family within a month. No Chief Minister in Kerala has ever faced such a situation before. If the ED proceeds with an arrest, it will deal a significant blow to the CPM party and the Chief Minister.

Legal Maneuvers and Political Landscape

Meanwhile, all legal options will be explored to avoid the arrest of Veena, the Chief Minister’s daughter. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan believes that the situation could become complicated if the anticipatory bail application is granted. Therefore, a cautious decision is advisable. It is expected that Veena will receive a notice for questioning soon. After that, anticipatory bail may be sought. The CPM also realizes the looming threat of Veena’s potential arrest.

ED has initiated a preliminary investigation into the financial transactions between Veena Vijayan’s IT services company, Exalogic, and 12 companies, including the infamous CMRL. In the same case, the ED also commenced an investigation based on the Serious Fraud Investigation Office’s (SFIO) findings of money laundering, as the Ministry of Corporate Affairs instructed.

The opposition’s apparent stance is that there is no need to celebrate the ED investigation. They had previously alleged a compromise between the CPM and the BJP in the gold smuggling and Karuvannur cases investigated by central agencies. However, the opposition does not see any sincerity in the ED’s process during the election period. Nevertheless, fearing the ED, the CPM may raise the campaign to help the BJP in some constituencies. The Congress party has already started this campaign. Underlying this, the CPM assesses that provoking the BJP and the central government could expedite ED’s action. The CPM believes that the BJP will pressure the ED to intervene strongly in this case to demonstrate no collusion with the CPM.

Legal Setbacks and Political Strategy

Both KSIDC and Exalogic unsuccessfully approached the court against the SFIO’s investigation. The government’s legal moves against the investigation by central agencies in Kerala, including in the gold smuggling case, were also unsuccessful. Therefore, the CPM’s efforts can be opposed politically rather than legally confronting the ED. Actions taken during the election period will be highlighted.

According to documents submitted by the CMRL company before the Income Tax Disputes Redressal Board, there was evidence of illegal transfers of Rs 135 crore to political and trade union leaders and bureaucrats. Exalogic received Rs 1.72 crore out of this amount. This is the starting point of the investigations.

Consequently, the investigation is possible against all leaders who received illicit payments. Ramesh Chennithala is also named in the alleged bribery ledger. PK Kunhalikutty and others are also accused, but there is no evidence of money transfers to any of them. However, the money has been transferred to the account of the Chief Minister’s daughter. Therefore, the Chief Minister’s family is in greater trouble. There is also a strong allegation that the initials “PV” written in the ledger are an abbreviation for Pinarayi Vijayan.

Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma is a seasoned Political Journalist with a deep passion for Indian Politics. With over a decade of experience in the field, he has established himself as a trusted… More »

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