ED seeks asset details of Kerala CM's close aide
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has asked the Kerala Registration Department to give it the list of properties owned by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's close aide C.M. Ravindran.
Ravindran, in the past one month, has been ducking making an appearance before the ED for questioning.
A day after he was served the first notice, he tested Covid positive and later after his isolation period was over, when a second notice was served, he was hospitalised for breathing problems. Since then, he has been discharged.
The first notice was served after gold smuggling case prime accused Swapna Suresh's alleged links with Ravindran surfaced.
Posted as an Assistant Private Secretary to the Chief Minister, Ravindran is a CPI-M nominee. Even Vijayan has acknowledged that Ravindran is known to him for several years.
He was reportedly posted in the office of Vijayan by-passing rules with regards to educational qualifications and also age.
A native of Kozhikode district, he has been a vital cog between the party and the top leaders of the CPI-M and was on the personal staff of Kodiyeri Balakrishnan in 2006-11, when he was the Home Minister in the V.S. Achuthanandan government.
When Vijayan took over as Chief Minister in 2016, Ravindran wielded major clout and his closeness with now arrested senior IAS official and secretary to Vijayan - M. Sivasankar was often talked about.
Incidentally soon after Ravindran failed to appear before the ED, they had started their probe into his various business ventures, based on a few complaints which they had received.
The ED officials went around two dozen business establishments of various size in Kozhikode and Kannur district and are understood to have got certain clues.
Following the Congress and the BJP demanding the ouster of Ravindran, the CPI-M is learned to have taken a tough position. - IANS