Thiruuvananthapuram, Nov 25 : Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's close aide CM Ravindran was admitted to the state-run Medical College Hospital here on Wednesday afternoon, a couple of hours after the ED directed him to appear before agency officials at its Kochi office on Friday for questioning in the gold smuggling case.
According to information, Ravindran complained of uneasiness before he was admitted in the city hospital. It now remains to be seen if he would travel to Kochi, about 220 km from here, for Enforcement Directorate questioning.
Posted as an Assistant Private Secretary to the Chief Minister, Ravindran is a CPI-M nominee. Even Vijayan has acknowledged in recent times that Ravindran is known to him for several years.
Incidentally, it is for the second time that the ED notice has been served on Ravindaran. The notice was served early this month also, but Ravindran tested coronavirus positive and hence could not appear before the ED.
The notice was served as gold smuggling case prime accused Swapna Suresh's alleged links with Ravindran have surfaced.
Soon after Vijayan's Principal Secretary and senior IAS official M Sivasankar was arrested last month by the ED, reports had surfaced that the next person on the ED radar would be Ravindran.
Ravindran was on the personal staff of Balakrishnan in 2006-11, when he was the Home Minister in VS Achuthanandan government. When Vijayan took over as Chief Minister in 2016, Ravindran wielded major clout.