Kerala CM’s close aide seeks two days time for third round of ED questioning

Kochi, Dec 21 : Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's close aide C.M. Ravindran, who was to have appeared for a third time before the Enforcement Directorate here on Monday, has sought two more days time for it.

In an email to the ED Kerala headquarters here on Monday, Ravindran said that since he has to undergo post Covid medical checkups, he needs two more days time before he can appear before the agency again.

On Thursday and Friday, Ravindran was subjected to several hours of questioning.

He denied any wrongdoing in the infamous Kerala gold smuggling case, where the prime accused is Swapna Suresh, who is alleged to have close links with the office of Vijayan.

Swapna has already confessed that her mentor was the now jailed former secretary to Vijayan - M.

Sivasankar, a senior IAS officer in the state.

The ties between Sivasankar and Ravindran is an open secret even though the latter has denied any wrongdoing.

The ED is now probing the assets of both Ravindran and his wife.

It was last Thursday that Ravindran finally turned up before the ED, after ducking three previous notices sent to him.

The first notice was served on him early last month, but he could not appear before the ED after he turned Covid positive.

Later, he was served two more notices, but on both the occasions he got admitted to the state-run Medical College hospital here after complaining of being unwell following post Covid complications.

While the opposition Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have gone hammer and tongs at Vijayan for allegedly shielding Ravindran, Vijayan has time and again come to the defence of his close aide and has accused the national agencies of being vindictive.

Ravindran, a CPI(M) nominee, was posted in Vijayan's office after bypassing rules regarding his educational qualifications and age.

A native of Kozhikode district, Ravindran has been a vital cog between the party and the top leaders of the CPI(M) and was on the personal staff of party leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan from 2006-11, when Balakrishnan was the Home Minister in the V.S.

Achuthanandan government.



Source: IANS