The UAE consular gold smuggling case that plagued the former Left Democratic Front (LDF) government has made a dramatic comeback, with financial crimes lead accused Swapna Suresh reaffirming her conviction for Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his colleagues in sensational fashion. The family’s “cursing” allegations and a combative Facebook Live somehow grabbed the public’s attention on Thursday.
Swapna claimed that “a special envoy” was allegedly acting at the behest of Mr. Vijayan and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] State Secretary MV Govindan had tried to force her to drop the charges against the Chief Minister and his family.
Swapna claims the middleman approached her as a web series producer interested in her life story.
She claimed that the person claimed to be acting under the authority of Mr. Vijayan and Mr. Govindan and provided her with Rs 30 crore and a copy of her passport to drop her charges and disappear from the country.
“Threat to life”
Swapner claims the “mediator” threatened her with dire consequences if she rejected the offer.
Swapna said she had lodged a complaint with the Karnataka State Ministry of Home Affairs and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for “threats to her life”.
Swapna accused Mr Vijayan of using his public office for profit and “exploiting and manipulating her” to further his family’s “commercial interests”.
She also accused the two top entrepreneurs of being what Vijayan called business fronts, and said she would ensure the public saw their “true colors”. Swapna claimed she had informed the ED about their financial shenanigans.
In June 2022, Swapna filed similar charges against a former journalist and a senior official.
Opposition seeks explanation
Opposition Leader VD Satheesan and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) National Chairman K. Surendran said Mr Vijayan and Mr Govindan owed the public an explanation.
The LDP reportedly sees the allegations as echoes of a vicious “smear campaign” it faced and was defeated in the 2021 parliamentary elections.
Furthermore, CPI(M) believes that the allegations are part of an entrenched conspiracy to tarnish Mr Govindan’s “Janakeeya Prathirodha Jatha” and divert public attention from politically high-profile issues, including the The center’s “anti-minority, anti-state and anti-people policies” it tries to emphasize.