August 2022
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BJP Kerala chief booked for ''bribing'' candidate for withdrawing nomination in assembly elections
Kasaragod: Police on Monday registered a case against BJP Kerala chief K Surendran for allegedly threatening and bribing K Sundara for withdrawing his nomination as a candidate in the Manjeswaram Assembly constituency in the April 6 state Assembly elections. The case was registered as per the directions of a magistrate court which considered a petition filed by V V Ramesan, the CPI(M) candidate who fought the election against Surendran in Manjeswaram, police said. The case was filed under sections 171 (B) and (E) (Bribery) of the IPC, police told PTI. "No arrest should be made without a warrant," the court observed. Sundara, who filed his nomination as Bahujan Samajwadi Party candidate, had recently alleged that he was initially threatened and later given Rs 2.5 lakh as bribe by the BJP to withdraw from the contest. He had alleged that it was Sunil Naik, a Yuvamorcha leader and a close aide of the BJP state president K Surendran who handed over the money and a smart phone.

The BJP has dismissed all allegations and termed it as a conspiracy against the party. Sundara, a Yakshagana artiste, had contested in 2016 but had withdrawn in 2021 in order to pave the win of Surendran. Sundara had secured 467 votes in the 2016 election in which Surendran lost to the UDF candidate by 89 votes. Based on Sundara''s disclosures, the Kasaragod police had conducted a preliminary inquiry. That apart, V V Ramesan also filed a petition in this regard with the district police chief P B Rajeev. However, the police informed the petitioner that a case could be registered only with the concurrence of the court. The BJP in Kerala has been on the backfoot following allegations of ''hawala'' money transactions vis-a-vis the recent Kodakara highway robbery episode at Thrissur against some BJP state leaders.

A special investigation team,, probing the heist case, has questioned the party organisation secretary M Ganeshan and party office secretary Girish in this connection. Wayanad-based Janadhipathya Rashtreeya Party (JRP) leader Praseeda Azhikode claimed recently that K Surendran had bribed Tribal leader and JRP chairperson C K Janu to contest as NDA candidate in Sultan Bathery. The BJP has dismissed the allegation.

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