A court in Kerala's Kasaragod district on Monday allowed the police to register a case under election laws on a complaint against state Bharatiya Janata Party chief K Surendran and two other party leaders after a candidate alleged that he was paid money to withdraw his nomination for the April 6 Assembly polls. Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate K Sundara last week told 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 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 United Democratic Front (UDF) candidate AKM Ashraff defeated Surendran by a margin of 745 votes. The CPI(M) candidate from Manjeswaram, VV Ramesan, who finished third, is the complainant and Kasaragod's Magistrate First Class gave the nod to register a case against Surendran and two others. However, it ruled out any arrest for now. The charge was denied by Surendran and his party.
In the 2016 Assembly polls, Surendran lost by a margin of 89 votes and in that election, Sundara, who contested as an Independent candidate, had secured 467 votes. The BJP felt that this time with Sundara entering the fray 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. However, Sundara stepped aside on the last day for withdrawal of nominations.
Surendran meanwhile is also involved in a controversy of black money surrounding the Kodakara heist hawala case. Recently the name of Surendran's son Harikrishnan also cropped up in the case and reports said that he will also be questioned by the police in the case. Senior leaders of the party including Surendran said at a press meet on June 6 that the CPI(M) was carrying out revenge politics against the BJP through the case.
(With IANS input)