Gold smuggling case:Cong-led UDF to stage fast on August 1

Stepping up its protest against the ruling LDF in Kerala over the gold smuggling case, the Congress-led United Democratic Front on Friday decided to observe a one-day fast by its legislators on August 1.
Leaderof the Opposition in the Kerala Assembly, Ramesh Chennithala told the media here that a "Speakup Kerala" campaign will be organised on August 1 to "protest against the corrupt" Left government.

"SpeakUp Kerala is an initiative to protest innovatively against the corrupt LDF government and its shady deals.

As such, all UDF leaders, MPs and MLAs shall conduct Satyagraha alone at their home/office on August 1 and further on August 10, all UDF local body members shall do the same," Chennithala said.

He alleged that chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan was trying to save his face by "bashing" the Opposition and hiding the truth about involvement of his office in gold smuggling.

"He should take responsibility and immediately resign for an impartial probe into the gold smuggling case," the veteran congress leader said.

However, State Law minister A K Balan lashed out at the Opposition and said the state government was ready to face any probe.

"We have already welcomed any probe.We are not worried.Let them probe the secretariat or the office of the chief minister or even the house of the chief minister.

We do not have any problem," Balan said.

Meanwhile, BJP state chief K Surendran today alleged that the accused in the gold smuggling case had visited the chief minister''s office several times and it was to hide this fact that there has been an attempt made by some quarters to tamper with the CCTV footageunder a "cooked up story of lightning and thunder" damaging it.

The opposition parties have been criticising a repair work allegedly approved by the chief secretary to change a switch inside the conference room, which was damaged in a lightning strike a few months ago, alleging that it was a move to tamper with the CCTV visuals.

The NIA, which has been probing the seizure of diplomaticbaggage with over 30 kg of gold worth Rs 15 crore, has recently sought the CCTV visuals of the secretariat, which was duly agreed to by the state government.

The left government came under attack after it emerged that the then principal secretaryto the Chief Minister and then IT secretary, M Sivasankar, allegedly had links with the accused in the case.

The senior IAS officer, who was suspended later, has been questioned the Customs and the NIA
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