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Suspension of Sivasankar lifted, now reappoint Swapna Suresh also: Cong

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 5 (IANS) The Congress party on Wednesday slammed Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for lifting the suspension on his former principal secretary and senior IAS official M. Sivasankar and asked him to 'appoint prime accused Swapna Suresh in her old job also to complete the equation'.

The revoking of the suspension of Sivasankar came on Tuesday night.

Former Leader of Opposition and veteran Congress legislator Ramesh Chennithala, "What he should have done was to extend the suspension of Sivasankar and after he gets a clean chit, then appoint him. But Vijayan has not done it and all know that even his name (Vijayan) in the gold smuggling case was heard. The message through lifting the suspension means Vijayan is supporting those allegedly involved in the gold smuggling case," said Chennithala.

The smuggling case came to light on July 5, 2020, when the Customs arrested Sarith, a former employee of the UAE Consulate here, for allegedly smuggling gold in a diplomatic baggage destined for the Consulate.

Swapna Suresh, who previously worked in the UAE Consulate, and her associate Sandip Nair were arrested in the case by the NIA from Bengaluru a few days later.

Trouble started for Sivasankar after Swapna's arrest and then came out tales of the relation with Sivasankar.

Vijayan, unable to stand the massive onslaught, first suspended Sivasankar from service and in October 2020 he was arrested and for 98 days he was cooling his heels in a jail, after which he got bail.

"Now that Sivasankaran has been reinstated, Vijayan should now appoint Swapna Suresh also in her old job," slammed Chennithala.

Sivasankar used his clout in the office of Vijayan and appointed her at a high paying job in the IT department, even when she is alleged to be Class 10 pass.

At the height of the case, Vijayan had said, "I don't know anything." The Covid pandemic came to his help forcing the entire opposition to remain indoors and Vijayan successfully countered the negative publicity in the gold smuggling case and he won a resounding victory in April 6, 2021 Assembly polls.