CPI(M) reiterates demand for Central probe

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] is reiterating its demand for a comprehensive Central agency probe into the gold smuggling case for tracing the conduit and the destination to where the contraband was bound.

The CPI(M) leadership is insisting on the probe considering the political dimension acquired by the case and the Opposition bid to target the State government.

Polit Bureau member S. Ramachandran Pilllai told The Hindu that the onus for conducting an inquiry vested with the Centre, but the party and the State government were too keen on instituting a credible probe to ensure that the key conspirators and the real beneficiaries of the smuggling process were brought to book.

The airport, customs, immigration and all other agencies that wielded the authority to conduct an inquiry in the case were under the control of the Central government. The State government did not have even a vicarious responsibility in monitoring the functioning of the airport or the transactions there.

‘‘Still, the party is insisting on a dispassionate inquiry since the incident occurred in the State capital and in view of its serious ramifications that have a direct bearing on national security and diplomatic implications,” Mr. Pillai said.

As Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had clarified, the party central and State leadership were of the view that the Centre could engage any agency and even seek the help of the Interpol for unearthing the links in the case.

The Left Democratic Front (LDF) allies and the party were on the same page in this case. The government was committed to initiate action against the guilty irrespective of his rank or position and that had already been proved, he said.

LDF convener A. Vijayaraghavan too shared Mr. Pillai’s views and clarified that the current controversy would not cast any slur on either the image of the government or the party.

“No political leader or a person nominated by the party in any official position have been found to be involved in the case. The Chief Minister’s decision in the case of the bureaucrat, M. Sivasankar, on moral grounds, is the best example in this regard. The entire campaign being built up with an eye on the elections will tumble like a bunch of cards,” he said.

The party would go into a campaign mode once the dust and heat subsides.

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