The ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala has decided to launch a mass protest against the vindictive steps of the central investigative agencies aiming to curtail the developmental activities in the state on November 16. The protest will be held at 25,000 centres across the state with the participation of all constituent political parties in the front. Left front leaders, ministers, MPs, MLAs along with masses would be the part of this mass protest.
In the backdrop of the Thiruvananthapuram gold smuggling case, the central investigative agencies- Enforcement Directorate (ED), CBI, NIA and Customs- are on a treasure hunt to find any possible leads that could help “corner” the LDF government in Kerala. Central investigation agencies have often been criticised by political parties as well as political commentators "for acting in a prejudiced manner", particularly in Opposition-ruled states or against Opposition leaders.
The political parties in LDF and political commentators have been pointing out that the central investigative agencies are being misused by the BJP-led central government to target the state government.
While announcing the protest, LDF convener A Vijayaraghavan alleged that the central investigative agencies have been acting as if they follow the allegations of opposition parties in the state. Whenever the opposition levelled allegations, the agencies would immediately register a case, the LDF convener pointed out.
“There is a larger conspiracy to stall the government’s developmental projects. State government is functioning with the powers assigned by the Constitution. Central agencies are misusing their powers to interrupt governance. This is unacceptable. We won’t obstruct genuine probes. The mass resistance is against the misuse of power by central agencies,” said the LDF Convener after the meeting.
Read more: Is Centre Trying to Taint Kerala’s LDF Govt Via Various Probe Agencies?
"The various central investigating agencies probing the gold smuggling case are exceeding their jurisdiction in a concerted effort to malign and destabilise the constitutionally elected government in the state," Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said earlier when KFON project and Life Mission- two of the most ambitious projects of the state government- had come under the radar of ED, albeit without any evidence except the allegations of BJP and UDF leaders in Kerala.
Vijayaraghavan also claimedd in the meeting that the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF), BJP and the fundamentalists are forming a grand alliance against the LDF in the local body elections.
But, he added, the LDF cadres too have started the preparation for the upcoming local body elections which is scheduled to be conducted in three phases- December 8, 10 and 14. “People are happy about the performance of the current left front government. Unlike other states, the government managed the COVID-19 pandemic pretty well and people on the ground are happy about it,” said a young member of Communist Party of India (Marxist) from the Thiruvampady Assembly constituency in Kozhikode district while talking to NewsClick about the upcoming elections and ongoing campaigns.
“In the initial phase of the investigations, some people had thought that something went wrong. But when the opposition parties and the investigative agencies have stopped the Wadakkancherry housing project under Life Mission, people have realiSed they are trying to create a smoke screen,” the young member, who wanted to remain anonymous, added about the ongoing investigations.
Meanwhile the UDF, which has put forward a slogan against corruption, seems to sinking in allegations of corruption. Several MLAs from the UDF camp, those who have been chanting anti-corruption slogans, are behind bars. Muslim League MLA MC Khamaruddin was arrested after more than 100 cases have been filed against him for fraud. Another MLA KM Shaji is also in the midst of a vigilance investigation. Former minister VK Ibrahim Kunju has become a symbol of corruption.