Kerala BJP chief booked for bribing rival to withdraw nomination in elections

K Surendran

A case was registered against BJP’s Kerala unit president K Surendran by Kasargod police for threatening and bribing a namesake candidate to withdraw his nomination during 2021 state assembly polls.

The complaint was filed by CPI(M) leader V.V. Rameshan, who had contested from Manjeshwaram constituency.

This comes after the police have been directed to file a case under Section 171B (bribery to sabotage elections) of the IPC by the Kasaragod First Class Judicial Magistrate Court on Monday.

K. Sundara, who had filed his nomination papers as a BSP candidate in the constituency, told media that he was given money and mobile by BJP leaders.

Police recorded Sundara’s statement, who claimed that he was abducted, detained and bribed.

This week, Sundara disclosed that BJP leaders, including Sunil Naik, Suresh Naik and Ashok Shetty, visited his house on March 21 and gave an amount ₹2.5 lakh and a smartphone to withdraw his nomination.

“The BJP leaders asked me to withdraw my candidature. I had asked for Rs 15 lakh but they gave me Rs 2.5 lakh only and a mobile phone worth Rs 15,000. I had also asked for a wine shop in Karnataka if they were able to win the seat. But once the election was over no one bothered to call me,” Sundara told MediaOne TV, Malayalam news channel.

The similarity between names of Surendran and Sundara is said to have helped Sundara garner 467 votes as an independent during the 2016 Assembly polls in which Surendran had lost to Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) nominee P B Abdul Razaque by 89 votes.

In 2021 Assembly polls, Muslim League’s A K M Ashraf had won the seat with 65,758 votes, while Surendran managed to bag 65,013 votes and CPI(M)’s Rameshan got 40,639 votes.