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Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Kerala BJP chief booked on bribery charges

Surendran is alleged to have paid Janu Rs 10 lakh to get her to return to the NDA before the Assembly elections this April.

By: Express News Service | Wayanad |
Updated: June 18, 2021 7:16:52 am
Although Surendran and his party had denied the charges, the court has, prima-facie, been convinced about the veracity of the tapes. (File Photo)

A case was registered against Kerala BJP chief K Surendran on Thursday for allegedly bribing tribal leader and Janadhipathya Rashtreeya Party (JRP) president C K Janu to contest as an NDA candidate in the April 6 state Assembly elections.

The development comes a day after a court here directed the police to register the case against Surendran over the bribery allegations.

The FIR was filed under Sections 171 E (bribery) and 171 F (Punishment for undue influence or personation at an election), police said.

Recently, audio clips of the purported conversation between Surendran and JRP leader Praseetha Azhikode on paying the amount to Janu had gone viral on social media. Although Surendran and his party had denied the charges, the court has, prima-facie, been convinced about the veracity of the tapes.

Surendran is alleged to have paid Janu Rs 10 lakh to get her to return to the NDA before the Assembly elections this April.

The First Class Magistrate’s Court in Kalpetta, Wayanad, was acting on a petition filed by P K Navas, state president of the Muslim Students’ Federation, the student wing of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML).

The court ordered that a case be registered under IPC Sections 171 B (gratification to any person with the object of inducing him or any other person to exercise any electoral right), I71 E (bribery) and 171 F (undue influence or personation at an election).

Earlier, the petitioner had approached the state police chief, asking that a case be registered against Surendran and Janu. As no case was registered, he approached the court.

Earlier this month, JRS state treasurer Praseetha Azhikode had alleged that Janu had demanded Rs 10 crore from Surendran to return to the NDA before the polls. It was alleged that Surendran finally gave Rs 10 lakh to Janu, who later contested as the NDA candidate from Sulthan Bathery in Wayanad, but was defeated.

Earlier, on June 7, a similar case was registered against Surendran for allegedly threatening and bribing K Sundara, a namesake who had filed nomination papers in the recent state elections from Manjeswaram Assembly segment, to withdraw his candidature.

Sundara, who filed his nomination as BSP candidate, had recently disclosed to the police that he was allegedly threatened initially and later given Rs 2.5 lakh as bribe by the saffron party to withdraw from the contest.

Meanwhile, police in Thrissur have submitted a statement in court saying that the money looted in a highway robbery three days before the Assembly elections belonged to the BJP. Police have challenged a petition filed by RSS worker A K Dharmarajan, who sought the court’s direction to release the money recovered so far.

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