The CPI-M circles are discreetly discussing the possibility of party secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan standing down from his position as the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is widening the scope of its investigations into the role of his Bineesh Kodiyeri in the drugs, havala racket as well as gold smuggling.
Although the state unit of the party as well as the central leadership had expressed complete support in Kodiyeri’s hour of crisis, a section of the state leadership believes a change would be in order in view of the local body and later assembly election.
The party central secretariat had last week taken the stand that the leaders are not responsible for the questionable conduct of their children in declaring support to the state party secretary. But Kodiyeri’s position is becoming increasingly untenable as ED and now Narcotics Control Bureau and the income tax department tightening the screws on Bineesh Kodiyeri.
It is in this context the option of Kodiyeri stepping down is being actively discussed. More importantly, he is learnt to be willing to do that. The party state secretariat and state committee are meeting at the weekend to take things forward.
The two names being thrown up as replacement are that of S Ramachandran Pillai or Govindan Master as Kodiyeri is expected to be granted leave on health grounds.
Meanwhile, ED and I-T teams have reached Thiruvananthapuram for further investigations in Bineesh’s house and his business establishments. The probe agencies have come to the conclusion Bineesh made transactions running into crores though he has had limited sources of income.
Bineesh’s house, named Kodiyeri, where his father used to stay until he shifted to a flat near the state party headquarters, allotted by the party, is said to be the first target of the investigators. After Bineesh got arrested in Bengaluru in the drugs peddling case, his family has moved to another house.
Also, the Customs dept has decided to add the former chief accounts officer of the UAE consulate, an Egyptian citizen, who has escaped to his home country, as an accused in the illegal transfer of about $2 lakh with the help of Swapna Suresh as well as Sivasankar.