Crime Branch questions BJP chief Surendran over electoral corruption case

Kasaragod: Kerala Police’s Crime Branch wing on Thursday questioned state BJP chairman K. Surendran in a case filed against him over allegations he ‘bribed’ a rival candidate with a similar name to withdraw his nomination from the constituency of Manjeshwaram in the previous State Assembly elections.

Speaking to reporters, after more than an hour of questioning at the guesthouse, Surendran alleged that the case against him was politically motivated, but he cooperated in the investigation because he respects the primacy of the law.

Sundara, candidate of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) of the constituency of Manjeshwaram in the district and namesake of Surendran, had withdrawn his candidacy documents on March 22, thus giving an advantage to the head of the BJP. Surendran, however, lost the election.

Sundara later revealed that a day after filing the application documents, BJP workers came to his home and asked him to withdraw his candidacy.

“They gave me the amount in cash,” Sundara said. He also alleged that he had been threatened by BJP workers.

Following Sundara’s revelation, CPI (M) candidate VV Rameshan, who came third in the 2021 election, approached the Kasaragod District Police Chief in an attempt to register a case in the related cases to revelation.

The case was registered after the Sundara statement was recorded. Later, the case was turned over to the Directorate of Crime.

AKM Ashraf of the Indian Muslim League (IUML) won the seat with 65,758 votes while Surendran managed to win 65,013 votes. Rameshan received 40,639 votes.

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