Kasaragod: In more trouble for the Kerala unit of the BJP, a Bahujan Samaj Party candidate who withdrew midway from the recent election contest in the Manjeswaram assembly constituency has come out with more damning revelations.
K Sundara had recently alleged that he was bribed by BJP leaders to withdraw his candidature so that K Surendran, the state president of the party, didn't lose out on votes as had happened in the 2016 polls because of a similar sounding name.
The party has to give a convincing alibi now as Sundara has disclosed the names of several BJP leaders close to Surendran.
"The papers regarding the withdrawal of my candidature were signed at a hotel at Adukkathuvayal on March 22, a fortnight before the state polls," Sundara reportedly told the police.
A police team from the District Crime Branch unit brought Sundara to this hotel on Tuesday to collect evidence.
It is also alleged that top BJP leaders, including Surendran, had stayed at this hotel during election time. Moreover, Sunil Naick, a BJP leader from Kozhikode who was questioned by the police in connection with the robbery of Kodakara hawala money in Kodakara, was among those staying in the hotel when Sundara signed the withdrawal papers, according to some statements received by the police.
However, as per another statement, no money was paid to Sundara at the hotel and Surendran was not occupying any room there when Sundara signed the papers.
Sundara had earlier claimed that BJP leaders had visited his home and gave him Rs 2.5 lakh and a mobile phone in March to withdraw from the election race and he did withdrew from the fray, days after he had filed the nomination for contesting the assembly polls from Manjeswaram.
Soon after this claim, LDF's Manjeswaram candidate V V Rameshan had filed a complaint with the Kasaragode Superintendent of Police and District Collector.
Recalling the incident before the poll, Sundara said he had demanded Rs 15 lakh from the BJP to withdraw from Assembly polls.
"BJP leaders visited my home and gave me Rs 50,000 and handed over Rs 2 lakh to my mother. I was also promised a wine parlour and a house in Karnataka. But, I was neither threatened nor physically assaulted. Surendran told me over the phone that all promises would be kept if he wins the polls," Sundara had said.
In the polls, Surendran came second behind A K M Ashraf of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) by a margin of 745 votes.
"I erred in accepting money for withdrawing from the contest. Since I had filed the nomination papers as the candidate of a recognized party, my name would have figured right above the BJP candidate on the ballot," Sundara said.
He also claimed he cannot return the money since he had spent it. He also asserted that he had made the revelations now on his own volition.
Sundara has been accorded police security after his disclosures that embarrassed the BJP.
Sundara had secured 467 votes in the 2016 Assembly polls as an independent candidate even as BJP's Surendran lost to Muslim League candidate P B Abdul Razak by a narrow margin of 89 votes.