On Wednesday, BJP leader Sambit Patra tweeted a picture of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan with a woman and captioned it "Gold" in Malayalam.
Who is this woman? Why did Patra post her picture with Vijayan? Why did he write 'Gold'?
Here are all the details:
On Sunday, 30 kg of gold worth Rs 15 crore concealed in diplomatic baggage was seized at the Thiruvananthapuram international airport by the customs department. The main accused, a woman identified as Swapna Suresh, is currently absconding. The customs sources said Swapna is on the run while Sarith Kumar, a former UAE consulate PRO, was taken into custody and after the interrogation.
Swapna was employed in Space Park and Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Limited (KSITL), which comes under the IT department, a portfolio held by Vijayan. She was ousted after she was named as one of the accused in the gold smuggling case.
Meanwhile, Vijayan has denied all allegations raised by Congress and BJP over the alleged links of Kerala Chief Minister's Office(CMO) to the gold smuggling case, he said that "the controversial woman in gold smuggling case has no connection with CMO or IT department".
Addressing media persons via video conference on Tuesday, the CM refuted all allegations and said, "This controversial woman in gold smuggling case has no connection with the Chief Minister's Office or IT department. How can this new gold smuggling case anyway related to state government? The parcel did not come to any of the state government agency. The parcel came for UAE consulate. If there is any failure how can state government be responsible? The state government has no role in it, " said Vijayan.
Vijayan added that he is ready for any probe. "We have no say in it, we are ready for any probe and the Centre can decide whichever agency should probe this," said Vijayan.
Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding a probe by the CBI or Enforcement Directorate (ED) to unravel the gold smuggling case in which the UAE consulate also figures.
"I write this letter as Leader of Opposition in Kerala Assembly with utmost concern at the misuse of diplomatic immunity of UAE consulate, here by international gold smuggling cartels with the collusion of officials working under government of Kerala who have deep rooted connections with decision makers at the office of Chief Minister. I solicit your immediate intervention to investigate into his nefarious act, which has serious implications on India's national security and has the potential to irreparably damage the age-old friendly ties between India and the UAE. In this contest I request an investigation into the matter by agencies like CBI and the ED," wrote Chennithala.
The UAE consulate, however, denied any involvement of its personnel in this case and said that the person who is in custody was dismissed from the consulate much earlier.
(With input from Agencies)