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New audio on NDA ‘cash’ deal in Kerala: ‘Rs 25 lakh more’

JRS state treasurer Praseetha Azhikode deposed before Crime Branch police in Wayanad, where a case was registered on June 17 against BJP state president K Surendran based on her allegations that Janu received Rs 10 lakh to return to NDA fold before the elections.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram |
Updated: June 24, 2021 7:37:54 am
C K Janu, K Surendran

IN WHAT could spell more trouble for the Kerala unit of the BJP in the alleged cash deal with party ally Janadhipathya Rashtriya Sabha (JRS) ahead of the Assembly elections, a JRS leader on Wednesday told police that party president C K Janu was paid Rs 25 lakh in cash, apart from the Rs 10 lakh which was given to her to return to the NDA fold.

JRS state treasurer Praseetha Azhikode deposed before Crime Branch police in Wayanad, where a case was registered on June 17 against BJP state president K Surendran based on her allegations that Janu received Rs 10 lakh to return to NDA fold before the elections.

Praseetha also released an audio clip of a purported conversation between her and Surendran, in which the latter is heard saying that the JRS would be given Rs 25 lakh and the deal was with the knowledge of BJP state organising secretary M Ganesh. “I have made arrangements to give your party Rs 25 lakh. It is meant for your party and other matters would be conducted by the mandalam committee [of Sulthan Bathery assembly segment where Janu contested as NDA candidate],” Surendran is heard saying in the audio clip.

After deposing before the probe team, Praseetha on Wednesday alleged, “The money, Rs 25 lakh, was given to C K Janu in cash. It goes against BJP state president’s claim that the party had only digital transactions during the Assembly elections. Although the money was paid for the party’s election fund, Janu did not use it for the electioneering. She took the money.”

The alleged cash deal of Rs 25 lakh, according to Praseetha, took place on March 26 at a home stay in Wayanad, where she was also present. “The money was handed over to Janu by BJP Wayanad district secretary Prasanth Malavayal. The cash was brought in a cloth bag under the guise of prasadam from the temple. Plantains were kept above the currencies in the bag and when our secretary asked for one, he [Prasanth] said it was a sacred one meant for the candidate [Janu] and she would give it to others. Soon Janu came and took the bag,” alleged Praseetha.
She said this took place a day after her alleged conversation with Surendran about the money.

While Janu did not respond to calls for her response, Surendran said the allegations were baseless and would be confronted legally. “The government thinks it can shut the mouth of the BJP by registering cases against the party. The BJP will take legal action,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, Kerala High Court on Wednesday directed the Enforcement Directorate to file a detailed affidavit on the petition of Loktantrik Yuva Janata Dal national president Salim Madavoor, who wanted the Central agency to probe the source of the alleged black money the BJP pumped into the Assembly elections.

Pointing out the incident of robbery of Rs 3.50 crore, three days ahead of the Assembly elections, Salim alleged that the BJP had ploughed black money into Kerala Assembly elections. The petition seeking the ED probe was filed on June 1.

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