BJP appoints panel to submit report on election fund usage by party's Kerala unit

The three member panel consists of retired IAS officer CV Ananda Bose, retired IPS officer Jacob Thomas and technocrat E Sreedharan.
From left: E Sreedharan and Jacob Thomas
From left: E Sreedharan and Jacob Thomas
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As the Kerala unit of the BJP is facing multiple controversies, all associated with distribution of money ahead of the state Assembly polls held on April 6, the national leadership of the party has tasked a three-member panel to file a report on the distribution and use of election funds by the BJP in Kerala. The three-member panel consists of retired IAS officer CV Ananda Bose, retired IPS officer Jacob Thomas and technocrat E Sreedharan, all part of the BJP, The Indian Express reported.

According to The Indian Express report, the panel report has been sought by BJP’s top brass, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Each of the panel members have been asked to submit a report after talking to BJP leaders and candidates in Kerala on the distribution of election funds sent from the national leadership. Notably, two of the panel members, E Sreedharan and Jacob Thomas, were both candidates of the BJP in the recently concluded Assembly polls.

The investigation in the Kodakara money heist, which initially kicked off as a highway robbery where an RSS man’s Rs 25 lakhs were robbed, is now pointing to the state unit of the BJP. According to reports, the money which was robbed, was said to amount to more than Rs 3.5 crore and was allegedly meant to be distributed to BJP leaders ahead of the Kerala Assembly polls. The Kerala police is also expected to soon question party chief K Surendran’s son Harikrishnan, as it was found that he had contacted RSS man Dharmarajan (who initially said the money is his) multiple times on the day of the heist. Critics of the BJP have also alleged that the money was unaccounted.

BJP’s state president K Surendran is also in a fix, with him being booked for allegedly bribing his ‘namesake’ candidate in the Assembly polls. Surendran is also alleged to have given Rs 10 lakh to CK Janu, leader of Janadhipathya Rashtriya Party (JRP), to make her join the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), ahead of the elections.

According to reports, part of the BJP leadership in Kerala has expressed strong dissent over the controversies which has put the party in a bad light. However, on Sunday, the state leadership of the party held a press meet, stating that the party is standing united. Condemning the controversies, former Mizoram Governor Kummanam Rajashekaran alleged that K Surendran cannot be cornered and attacked.

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