State acted unconstitutionally: Rajnath

Ordering judicial probe against Central agencies

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has accused the Kerala government of committing an unconstitutional act by ordering a sweeping judicial inquiry against Central agencies investigating the UAE gold smuggling case.

Mr. Singh was here on a whirlwind electioneering tour that spanned at least three districts and included road shows with BJP candidates.

At a press conference here on Sunday, Mr. Singh said the government’s decision had infringed on federalism. It indicated that certain political bigwigs were uneasy that the Central probe into the international racket edged closer to the truth every passing day.

(The Kerala government had justified the judicial inquiry citing jurisdictional overreach and pronounced political bias on the part of Central agencies. The administration required the Election Commission of India’s permission to set the probe in motion. Moreover, the government was yet to announce the commission’s terms of reference or the Central agencies that would come under the ambit of the judicial probe.)

On the political front, Mr. Singh said the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) and Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) had lost their credibility. They were bedfellows in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu. The fronts were play-acting as opponents in Kerala to hoodwink voters.

The BJP has exposed their political shadow-boxing. It has offered itself to the people as a credible political alternative to the LDF and the UDF.

The BJP’s manifesto was moored to welfarism and development. It pledged to enact a State law to preserve the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple tradition. The BJP was above caste or religion. It was for inclusive growth. The Centre had passed a law to protect the rights of Muslim women by prohibiting the practice of triple talaq.

Mr. Singh dared Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to state which outfit was most responsible for the seemingly never-ending series of political murders in Kerala. The BJP vowed to end the vicious cycle of violence that has spawned widows, orphaned children and bereaved mothers.

Mr. Singh said the bogey of counter investigations would not deter Central agencies from pursuing the truth in the gold smuggling case.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had stated he would create a ministry for fisheries at the Centre without knowing such a department was in existence at the Union government level since 2019, he said.

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