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Kerala BJP Plans Legal Fightback over Bribery Cases against State Unit Chief

File pic of BJP Kerala chief K Surendran.

File pic of BJP Kerala chief K Surendran.

The party has alleged that the cases are politically motivated and is also accusing the police of displaying "double standards".

The Kerala unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has decided to go to court, sources say, alleging that recent cases against its state president K Surendran are politically motivated, and citing “double standards".

Police have filed a case against Surendran for allegedly bribing prominent tribal leader CK Janu from the Janadhipathya Rashtriya Sabha (JRS) to contest from Sultan Bathery in Wayanad for the BJP in the recent assembly polls. The elections were won resoundingly by the incumbent Left Democratic Front while the BJP drew a blank. Janu too has been booked in the case. K Sundara, a former member of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), earlier said he had received Rs 2.5 lakh from Surendran to back out as a candidate from the Manjeswaram assembly seat. He, however, has not been charged by the police.

JRS state treasurer Praseetha Azhikode this month alleged that Janu had demanded Rs 10 crore from Surendran to return to the NDA before the polls. The tribal leader has rejected the charges against her.

The police registered a first information report (FIR) following a petition filed in a magistrate’s court in Wayanad by PK Navas, state president of the Muslim Students’ Federation, the student wing of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML).

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Kasargod police last week lodged a case against Surendran for allegedly bribing Sundara to withdraw his nomination from Manjeswaram. Surendran contested, unsuccessfully, from the seat. Sundara, who later joined the BJP, alleged that he was paid Rs 2.5 lakh by local BJP leaders.

The BJP is also preparing to take on legally the investigating officer who did not charge K Sundara. The party has approached the director general of police, seeking a case against the officer. According to BJP leaders, they are acting on legal advice according to which it is evident that these cases are politically motivated based on the two different approaches of the state police.

The cases against K Surendran are in Kasaragod and Wayanad. The party can approach the Wayand district court for an appeal in the Sultan Bathery case. The BJP’s legal cell is looking at the possibility of approaching the Kerala High Court to get both cases quashed, sources said.

In 2016, K Sundara had contested as an independent with an ‘ice cream’ symbol from Manjeswaram, garnering 467 votes, while K Surendran had lost the seat by 89 votes to the IUML candidate. This time, Surendran lost to Muslim League’s AKM Ashraf by 745 votes.

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first published:June 18, 2021, 17:04 IST