Published On: Tue, Dec 15th, 2020

Fourth ED notice served on Vijayan’s close aide Ravindran

Thiruvananthapuram: The fourth notice from the Enforcement Directorate asking CM Ravindran — the closest aide of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan — was served on Tuesday asking him to appear before the agency on Thursday.

Ravindran is a CPI(M) nominee and is posted in Vijayan’s office bypassing rules

All the three previous notices served on him saw Ravindran ducking an appearance. The first notice was early last month, when he turned Covid positive.

Later, after the second and third notices were served, on both occasions he got admitted to the state-run Medical College hospital here after he said he was unwell and was suspecting post Covid complications.

Ravindran got discharged from the hospital at the end of last week and in his letter to the ED sent through his counsel, he sought two weeks time to appear before them.

With the ED ignoring his two-week request, the latest notice was served on him on Tuesday asking him to come to the Kochi office on Thursday.

While the opposition Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have gone hammer and tongs at Vijayan for allegedly shielding Ravindran, Vijayan has time and again come to the defence of his close aide and has accused the national agencies of being vindictive. Last week Vijayan said he would be writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about what’s happening with the national probe agencies.

Ravindran is a CPI(M) nominee and is posted in Vijayan’s office bypassing rules regarding his educational qualifications and age.

A native of Kozhikode district, Ravindran has been a vital cog between the party and the top leaders of the CPI(M) and was on the personal staff of party leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan from 2006-11, when Balakrishnan was the Home Minister in the VS Achuthanandan government.

When Vijayan took over as the Chief Minister in 2016, Ravindran began wielding major clout and his alleged close proximity to disgraced senior IAS officer M Sivasankar is often talked about.

Soon after Ravindran failed to appear before the ED, the agency started a probe into several of his business ventures, based on a few complaints received by it.

The ED officials went around two dozen business establishments in Kozhikode and Kannur districts and have reportedly got several leads.

After Ravindran failed to appear for the second time, the ED asked the state registration department to submit a list of properties owned by Ravindran.

Now all eyes are on Ravindran to see if he finally appears before the ED on Thursday.

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