As the gold-smuggling through diplomatic channels fires up in Kerala, the most-trusted secretary of CM Pinarayi Vijayan was ousted from the post. M Sivashankar has been replaced as the Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister by Mir Mohammed.
M Sivashankar, who is also the IT secretary, was in the midst of criticism when he was accused of scamming in Sprinkr issue. However, the government and the ruling CPM protected the officer. With the new controversy, the government is now forced to remove Sivsankar at least to save Pinarayi Vijayan from the controversy.
Customs had seized the precious metal from an air cargo consignment from the United Arab Emirates to the country’s consulate in Thiruvananthapuram after permission from the Ministry of External Affairs.
Swapna Suresh who was working as the operational manager of the Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Limited under the state IT Ministry is said to have gone underground after the seizure.
After the Customs department intensified its search for her, an embarrassed state government issued a terse statement saying her contract with the IT department was terminated with immediate effect. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan holds the IT portfolio.