Kerala BJP Chief Surendran Booked Under Election Law for Bribing BSP Candidate

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BJP Kerala President K Surendran. — Photo: Manorama

K. Surendran and two other party leaders have been accused of paying a bribe, to a candidate whose name resembles Surendran’s, to withdraw his nomination during the state Assembly elections

Team Clarion

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM — A bribery case has been registered against BJP’s Kerala President K. Surendran on Tuesday after Kasargode district court allowed the Police to register a case under election laws on Monday, adding fury to the already simmering BJP’s black money controversy.

K. Surendran and two other party leaders have been accused of paying a bribe, to a candidate whose name resembles Surendran’s, to withdraw his nomination during the state Assembly elections held last April.

BSP candidate K. Sundara last week admitted to the media that he was given Rs 2.5 lakh and a smartphone to pull out from the election from the Manjeswaram seat – from where Surendran was contesting. He also said that he was also offered Rs 15 lakh, a home, and a wine parlour in Karnataka if Surendran wins.

When votes were counted on May 2, the Congress-led UDF candidate A.K.M. Ashraff defeated Surendran by a margin of 745 votes.

The CPI-M candidate from Manjeswaram, V.V.Ramesan, who finished third, lodged the complainant and the Kasargode’s Magistrate gave the nod to register a case against Surendran and two others. However, it ruled out any arrest for now.

Since the BSP nominee’s disclosure, the ruling CPI-M-led Left Democratic Front was up in arms, but this charge was promptly denied by Surendran and his party.

K Sundara had defeated Surendran in the 2016 Assembly polls by a meagre margin of 89 votes. Sundara who contested as an Independent candidate, secured 467 votes.

The BJP felt that this time with Sundara coming up as a BSP candidate, his name would appear just before the name of Surendran in the electronic voting machine and it could mar fortunes of Surendran.

Sundara, however, withdrew his nomination on the last day of withdrawal period allowed.

According to reports, Police will question Surendran as his name is also involved in the Kodakara hawala case.

(With agency inputs)

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