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Kerala gold case: Troubles likely to mount for CM as ED to grill Swapna today

Vijayan has decided to keep away from these meetings as they have decided to hold one similar meeting in all the 14 districts of the state and would be held in the coming two weeks.

IANS | Thiruvananthapuram |

Amid mounting troubles for Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan who is in the eye of storm following allegations of involvement in gold and currency smuggling case, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is all set to grill the prime accused Swapna Suresh on Wednesday.

Swapna Suresh, whose fresh allegations early this month through a confessional statement filed before a magistrate under Section 164 (5) of the Criminal Procedure Code, has been asked to appear before the federal agency which might spell more trouble for the chief minister.

This would be her second appearance before the ED officials, the first being when the gold smuggling case surfaced and she was arrested form Bangalore in July 2020.

Despite the adversities, Vijayan continued to maintain his calm and with the Covid pandemic peaking, things took a turn and he won both the local body and the 2021 Assembly polls and he, like several others, felt that the case would soon be forgotten, sources said.

But, the case resurfaced and Swapna’s fresh statements rocked the entire state as in the first round of ED interrogation, Vijayan’s name was missing. Things have changed for worse for the CM as the accused has not only named him, but also his wife and their daughter.

Subsequent to this, a top notch additional inspector general of police M.R.Ajithkumar was removed after Swapna alleged that he and another high ranking police official through a shady middleman was trying to settle issues.

Suspicions grew further when the police tried their best to get her fresh confession statement, but a court thwarted that and things went astray for Vijayan, when the ED served a notice to the woman to appear before them on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Swapna wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking a CBI probe into the role of the Kerala government in the gold smuggling case and has sought an appointment too.

Meanwhile, the ruling Left Democratic Front has decided to shield Vijayan and held its first public meeting here on Tuesday evening with leader after leader trying their best to defend Vijayan.

Vijayan has decided to keep away from these meetings as they have decided to hold one similar meeting in all the 14 districts of the state and would be held in the coming two weeks.

To add to his woes, the fresh session of the Kerala Assembly is scheduled to begin here on Monday and the opposition Congress, buoyed by its stellar victory in Thrikkakara bypoll, is all set to corner him on the issue.