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'No-confidence' dagger hangs on Vijayan govt


Thiruvananthapuram : Stepping up pressure on the already beleaguered Pinarayi Vijayan government in Kerala that is presently passing through its worst-ever crisis with even the office of the Chief Minister under a cloud in the gold smuggling case, the Congress-led-opposition on Friday gave a notice to move a no-confidence motion, when the assembly meets on July 27 to pass the Finance Bill.

Speaking to the media here, Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said the things have reached such a stage where Kerala is being shamed on account of the gold smuggling case, and Vijayan has to resign.

"Technically with the numbers in the assembly favouring Vijayan, the motion will be defeated, but Vijayan has a moral obligation to the people of Kerala, as he is morally liable to what has happened in his office.

"Two top officials by now have been booted out. Nothing short of the resignation of Vijayan will be acceptable to us," said Chennithala.

In the assembly, 139 members can vote, while two seats are lying vacant and the treasury bench has a strength of 91.

"Vijayan is playing games. When we first raised this issue, he said none in his office is involved, but then things his principal secretary M.Sivasankar and his IT fellow Arun Balachandran had to be removed.

"He has always abused us when we raised allegation of corruption. Now it's clear that the IT department (led by Vijayan) has been turned into a den of all sorts of mafia activities," said Chennithala.

"We demand that Vijayan should resign and a CBI probe be launched into all the activities of the IT department which includes, signing of contracts, appointments done and consultancies entered into," added Chennithala.

The gold smuggling case which has large scale ramifications first surfaced when P.S. Sarith, a former employee of the UAE Consulate, here was arrested by the Customs on July 5. He was facilitating the smuggling of 30 kg gold in diplomatic baggage to Thiruvananthapuram from Dubai.

It turned murkier when the name of Swapna Suresh, a former employee of the UAE Consulate here and now employed with the state IT Department, surfaced. The case snowballed when their links with the second most powerful person in Vijayan's office -- his principal secretary M. Sivasankar, got revealed.

After dilly dallying, despite the Congress and the BJP's agitation demanding Vijayan to suspend Sivasankar, on Thursday the Chief Minister finally made the move.

Also to fall was his IT man -- Arun Balachandran - a popular face in all the IT related events in the state.

Both of them were removed by Vijayan, after several visuals and telephone call records surfaced which showed that Swapna was in frequent touch with the two.




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