The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members on Saturday launched 18-day long 'satyagraha' demanding the resignation of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
While inaugurating the hunger strike via video conference, BJP MLA Bhupender Yadav said, "It is for the first time in the country that a chief minister's office is being involved in the gold smuggling case. The accused Swapna Suresh was employed in IT department, which is handled by Pinarayi Vijayan." "His principal secretary M Sivasankar was also questioned by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). Pinarayi Vijayan is answerable for the gold smuggling case and he should resign," Yadav added.
He also termed the CM as the 'architect of SNC-Lavalin scam'. Further, Yadav said NIA in the FIR filed has pointed out that the money from gold smuggling was used to fund terror.
"So the involvement of Chief Minister's Office even questions the sovereignty of the country. The Left government is involved in organised loot of the people of Kerala. The Communist did the same when they were in power in West Bengal and Tripura," he added.
Earlier in the day, Yadav tweeted, "BJP has launched satyagraha seeking resignation of CM whose office was overseeing gold smuggling. Senior Kerala BJP leader O Rajagopal is leading the fight. Spoke to BJP workers on the occasion. Their fight against graft is laudable." "In the 'Kerala model' of development, the CM's office has been actively involved in gold smuggling. The money it has emerged was used to fund terror activities. CM shouldn't be in the office for a day more. He must resign now," he added.
On the occasion, BJP MLA O Rajagopal said, "I will be fasting in the BJP state office and this is the first day of the program, which will continue for 18 days in all districts. Similar programs will be conducted during this period. State President K. Surendran will be fasting on the last day." "The latest problem of corruption that came to light is the gold smuggling case, in which Swapna and others were involved. It is the current political issue in the state. The state government is not in a position to take effective action against them. They don't want to do that and we are sure they won't," he added.
He further accused the state government of shielding corruption and assisting the corrupt ones. He added that by this, the government is encouraging corruption.
"It is a serious matter as this gold is not meant for making ornaments, it is transported and is used for helping anti-national forces. This is a fund gathering mechanism for those who operate in India and want to destabilise the Modi government," he said.
While concluding, he said this fight is for the purpose of national security and not propaganda."We are doing our duty and we hope people appreciate this." BJP state president K Surendran said, "We have decided to intensify the strike demanding the resignation of smugglers own Kerala CM. The party will organise satyagraha by senior leaders for the next 18 days and district wise virtual rallies." On Sunday, MoS External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs, V Muraleedharan will be holding satyagraha demanding the CM's resignation. BJP National General Secretary Muralidhar Rao will join him to inaugurate it.
The hunger strike by O Rajagopal, which will continue till 5 pm on Saturday is part of a series of agitation planned by BJP Kerala unit demanding resignation of Kerala Chief Minister over the gold smuggling case.
Various senior BJP leaders will fast in coming days and BJP state president K Surendran will hold hunger strike on August 18, on concluding day.