oppn parties Kerala: Gold Smuggling Shows The Rot In Governance

News Snippets

  • India conducts a record 6.4 lakh coronavirus tests in a single day on Friday, 31st August
  • Fresh Covid cases top 57000 in India on Friday. More than 11 lakh cases reported in July
  • The US says that China's incursions in several countries were to see the world's reaction
  • The scheme calling for local manufacturing of mobile phones receives applications from Apple vendors like Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron, along with Samsung and some Indian players
  • The Enforcement Directorate has started an investigation into money laundering in the Sushant Singh Rajput case after reports of missing funds from his accounts and the FIR in Patna
  • 38 persons were killed after consuming spurious liquor in Punjab's Amritsar, Tarn Taran and Gurdaspur districts
  • Mehbooba Mufti to spend three more months in detention as the J&K administration extends its order under the Public Safety Act
  • The J&K administration has released Sajad Lone, the chairman of J&K People's Conference after about a year in detention
  • The defence ministry has written to the CBFC to say that web series on the army must seek approval without knowing that the CBFC has no mandate to regulate such content
  • Google and Facebook will now have to pay to carry news from mainstream media in Australia, the first country to enact such a legislation
  • Centre says herd immunity cannot be a strategic option for a country with a huge population density like India
  • Sushant Singh Rajput's father and the Bihar government move the SC in order to prevent his ex-girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty from getting the case transferred from Patna to Mumbai
  • ED seeks a copy of the FIR from Bihar police as rumours float about a Rs 15-crore illegal transaction in the Sushant Singh Rajput death case
  • Several Western Naval Command officers, including a captain, booked by the CBI in a Rs 7-crore fraud case
  • Hardik Shah, a 2010-batch IAS officer, is to be the next private secretary to the Prime Minister
Home Minister Amit Shah tests Covid+, admitted to hospital. He had attended a cabinet meeting on Wednesday
oppn parties
Kerala: Gold Smuggling Shows The Rot In Governance

By Linus Garg
First publised on 2020-07-20 11:59:32

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Linus tackles things head-on. He takes sides in his analysis and it fits excellently with our editorial policy. No 'maybe's' and 'allegedly' for him, only things in black and white.

However much the CPM or a section of the media might try to defend the Left Front government in Kerala or say that it was not involved in the gold smuggling case, the fact is that there are clear pointers that brokers who arranged the smuggling through diplomatic channels had access to the highest corridors of power in the state.

No one is saying that the government or the CPM were the beneficiaries of the consignment. Nor is anyone saying that they were directly involved in the smuggling. But the government is accountable as it was happening under its nose and the principal secretary to the chief minister is alleged to have been involved. The involvement of a diplomat from the UAE adds an international angle to the case as the gold was being smuggled in the diplomatic baggage meant for the said diplomat.

When a racket of this kind takes place, it is obvious that many people will be involved. From businessmen to brokers to diplomats and government officials, all will have a role to play. The CPM is saying that many of the accused were BJP sympathizers. That may be the case. But how does that in any way reduce the accountability of the government when one of the top officers attached to the chief minister’s office is also alleged to be involved?

A section of the media, backed by selective inputs from the state CPM, is alleging that the case is an attempt to malign the Pinarayi Vijayan government in Kerala as it had won plaudits for its exemplary management of Covid-19 in the state. But should the media ignore evidence about misuse of authority and nepotism by the Left Front government in this case just because it has a good record in some other case? Further, it is obvious that this was not the first consignment and the racket has been going on for a long time.

The call records of the prime accused in the case, Swapna Suresh, show that she had unhindered access to top officers in the government and may have used them to further her business interests. The CPM keeps accusing the Modi government of centralizing power in the PMO. This case has shown that despite claims of decentralization of power, no major decision in Kerala is taken without the approval of the CM's office and a set of chosen bureaucrats are calling the shots. The state government has asked for an investigation by Central agencies. The Centre must get to the bottom of this racket and all the guilty persons must be brought to book.