CPM to probe use of vehicle of smuggling case accused

Reacting to the allegations, Balakrishnan said he did not know who owned the auto.

As the opposition in Kerala on Thursday slammed CPI-M State Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan for riding a "history-sheeter's car" during his "Jana Jagratha Yatra" here, he tried to wriggle out of it by saying it was not possible to know the details of each and every vehicle one travels in.

The controversy was sparked off by leaders of opposition parties such as the Indian Union Muslim League secretary Mayin Haji and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader K. Surendran. The regional wing of the party arranged for the auto and it is impossible to do background checks before getting into every vehicle during a rally, he said.

The opposition was quick to clobber the CPI (M) with leader of the opposition, Ramesh Chennithala of the Congress saying that the fact that Kodiyeri travelled in a auto owned by an accused in a smuggling case indicates the degeneracy of CPI (M). On Wednesday, when the yatra reached Koduvally in Kozhikode, Balakrishnan was taken out on a reception in the Mini Cooper owned by Karat Faisal, an accused in a smuggling case.

"What type of "Jagratha Yatra" is being taken out by Balakrishnan by travelling in a vehicle owned by a smuggling accused?"

Hitting out at the CPI-M, IUML state secretary M C Mayin Haji said the vehicle belonged to a person accused of attempting to smuggle gold through the Karipur Airport.

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"The Koduvally incident is latest incident where the real face of CPM has been exposed".

"The CPI-M always boast that they represent poor, the downtrodden and marginalised in the society".

He also said only an inquiry will establish if the local unit made any lapses in this regard.

The yatra was meant to be a counter to the BJP's high-decibel Jan Suraksha Rally that saw the party deploy over two dozen national leaders, central ministers and chief ministers of other states to expose, what it had called, the murder politics of Kerala's ruling party.

The yatra led by Rajendran is scheduled to conclude at Ernakulam and the one led by Balakrishnan at Thrissur, after crisscrossing all the 140 assembly constituencies of the state, on November 3.

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