The Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) in Kerala on Monday organised a half-day online sit-in following COVID-19 protocol as part of protests against the Left government and demanding resignation of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the recent gold smuggling case involving diplomatic baggage.
The UDF leaders joined the protest, titled 'SpeakupKerala', from their homes and offices across the state and the agitation was inaugurated by All India Congress Committee general secretary in charge of Kerala, Mukul Wasnik.
Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala, who sat on protest at his official residence, reiterated his demand for a CBI probe. "With this gold smuggling case, the current government in the state has tarnished the image of Kerala worldwide," Chennithala alleged.
State Congress chief Mullappally Ramachandran, who sat on protest at the KPCC office, demanded a probe by the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).
"The current Left government is a liability to the state. Since the gold smuggling matter has international ramifications, the RAW should also probe the case," Ramachandran said.
The state-wide online protest was organised through Zoom platform and other leaders too participated and spoke during the event .The protest started at 9.30am and ended at 1pm.
The state government is under attack from the opposition parties ever since reports emerged that suspended senior IAS officer and former IT secretary M Sivashankar had close links with few accused in the case.
On July 5, the customs seized around 30 kg of gold worth Rs 15 crore from a diplomatic baggage addressed to the UAE Consulate which arrived at the International airport here.
The National Investigation Agency and the Customs department are investigating the matter. The NIA has so far arrested ten people in connection with the case.