The BJP in Kerala, facing charges of using hawala money for April 6 Assembly polls, on Sunday accused the CPI(M)-led LDF government of playing 'politics of revenge' against it in connection with a highway heist that took place in Thrissur district. In a press conference held ahead of the state BJP's core committee meeting here, senior party leaders alleged that the accused in the Kodakara robbery case were associated with the Left parties and the police was conducting "a proper political operation" at the behest of the CPI(M).
Strongly backing its state president K Surendran, the party also said he was being personally targeted by the LDF government over the issue by unleashing propaganda against him and his family members. The BJP leaders also condemned the Kochi city police action forcing the party to shift the venue of the core committee meeting from a hotel here to its district committee office.
Prior to the meeting, the police had served a notice to the hotel management urging it not to allow the meeting to be organised without adhering to COVID-19 protocol. Besides Surendran, Union Minister V Muraleedharan, former state presidents of the party, Kummanam Rajendran and P K Krishnadas and other senior leaders addressed the press meet.
"The CPI(M)-led government is making a conscious attempt to humiliate the BJP and its leaders in public in connection with the heist that took place in Kodakara. The CPI(M) is using the state police for political revenge", Rajendran alleged.
The saffron party alleged that instead of checking the call list of the accused in the heist case, the police was checking the call list of businessman Dharmarajan, who is the complainant in the case. Instead of nabbing the robbers and recovering the money, the police are researching how the case can be linked to the BJP, as the person who lost the money helped the BJP in election campaign.
"The Kerala police is conducting a proper political operation in the Kodakara case. Checking the call list of the accused in a case is common, but taking the call list of the complainant is a strange method of investigation", the BJP said.
The party alleged that except for one person, all others arrested in the case were associated with the CPI(M) and the CPI. It further alleged that one of the accused in the case was a worker of a youth wing of a communist party and he had close links with a Left MLA from Thrissur district.
After the robbery, the accused had sought help from a CPI(M) activist from SN Puram, the BJP alleged. Amid reports that Surendran's son may be summoned for questioning by the police probing the heist case, the BJP claimed that this was being done to seek revenge for the arrest of CPI(M) leader Kodiyeri Balakrishan's son in connection with a drug trafficking case in Bengaluru.
"The party will unite against any attempt to unleash false propaganda and attack the BJP state president after alienating him", the BJP said. The CPI(M) and the Congress have accused the BJP of using large amounts of black money in the assembly polls.
In the "Kodakara havala heist case", the special investigation team on Saturday had questioned the driver and personal aide of the BJP state chief. The Congress has demanded a judicial probe into the allegations against the BJP leadership.
According to a complaint filed by Shamjeer Samsudheen on April 7, a gang had stopped his car on the Kodakara flyover here and robbed Rs 25 lakh kept in the vehicle when he was on his way to Kochi from Kozhikode. Though the complaint had said that only Rs 25 lakh was stolen, the investigators later found that the actual amount could be about Rs 3.5 crore and it was a hawala transaction, police sources said.