The Kerala CM’s hasty request to Centre to help arrested BJP ally leader Thushar

While none of the BJP leaders have commented on Thushar’s arrest in a cheque bounce case in the UAE, Pinarayi Vijayan was swift to act.
The Kerala CM’s hasty request to Centre to help arrested BJP ally leader Thushar
The Kerala CM’s hasty request to Centre to help arrested BJP ally leader Thushar
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Soon after news of the arrest of Bharath Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS) leader Thushar Vellapally in the UAE came out, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan wrote to the Centre seeking all possible help within the limits of law to be made available to him.

While those who back the Chief Minister argue that his move was something he did as an administrator of a state should do for a citizen who meets with legal issues in an alien country, most view it as a hasty and inappropriate move, both politically and ethically.

“News channels have reported the arrest of Thushar Vellapally, Vice-President of Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam, at Ajman in the United Arab Emirates. I express concern about his well-being and health while in custody. All possible help within the limits of law needs to be made available to him. I request your kind personal attention and intervention in this regard,” reads Pinarayi’s letter to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

Thushar Vellapally, the Kerala state president of the BDJS, was arrested on Tuesday in Ajman in the United Arab Emirates in connection with a cheque bounce case. He was arrested after a cheque worth Rs 19 crore, which he had handed over to his business partner, had bounced.

Thushar, who was housed at the Ajman central jail was granted bail on Thursday.

“This was an issue between two private parties and it is not appropriate and advisable for the government to intervene in it. The other party in the case is also an Indian, a Malayali. The government intervening for one party in the case is sub-standard, not a fair approach. And what Ajman followed was the law of the land to get the money back from the accused,” retired Kerala High Court judge B Kemal Pasha tells TNM.

The judge adds that the government does not have the material to prove that Thushar is not guilty. “How the government can justify its act I don’t know, it could be because of an unholy alliance, what else can be said,” he says.

Thushar is the son of prominent community organisation leader Vellapally Natesan. Vellapally, as he is known, is the General Secretary of Sree Narayana Dhrama Paripalana Yogam while Thushar is the Assistant Secretary.

Vellapally Natesan floated the political party BDJS in December 2015 which is now led by Thushar as its president. The father-son duo has accepted a very pragmatic political position – Vellapally backs the CPI(M) headed Left Democratic Front while Tushar and the BDJS is an ally of the BJP-led NDA in the state. Vellapally backed the Left stand of implementing the SC verdict on allowing women of menstruating ages into Sabarimala temple while son Thushar supported the BJP in its protests against the verdict.

“There is no ethics in the move as an administrator or even otherwise. It is not fair to do this as a politician and as a Chief Minister. There could be political interest behind it, to keep the BDJS by the side of the CPI(M). But even in that case it is not an appropriate political act; something happened outside the definition of a political act. There is not even any political aspect that can be attributed to the move. Then how can it be justified?” asks political observer and former CPI(M) fellow traveller NM Pearson to TNM.

Interestingly, none of the BJP leaders in the state have reacted to the news that their coalition partner’s leader has been booked in a swindling case. Vellapally, however, has said that his son was trapped.

The BJP allotted four seats out of the total 20 seats for the BDJS in the recent Lok Sabha elections. Thushar, who was to contest from the Thrissur Lok Sabha constituency first, shifted to Wayanad once the Congress announced the then President Rahul Gandhi as its candidate for Wayanad.

“The only justification for this is the friendship between these leaders. Now that electoral activity in Kerala in general has ended, politicians act as groups that help each other. Vellapally might have personally requested Pinarayi Vijayan to intervene for his son. Now on the question of whether a CM should intervene based on a request from someone, I would say that the question should not be asked in this context, it has no relevance in a case like this. When a CM takes up a request to protect a person arrested in a case like this, the answer is he shouldn’t have,” Pearson further says.

Meanwhile Nasil Abdulla, the complainant in the case, told Asianet News that he is ready for an out-of-court settlement, but will go with the case as he has no other option as he is in a helpless situation.

Regarding Thushar’s remarks that the signature in the cheque is fake, Nasil said that Thushar can raise the argument in court and forensic experts can examine it. “The cheque is valid though it was issued 10 years ago. Yes, I was jailed as I was not able to repay money to many as Thushar had to pay me a big amount, how much I won’t reveal now as the matter is sub judice. I suffered huge losses because I was not paid the money. To my knowledge, Thushar has to pay money to many others too. In the past years I was mentally preparing as I knew about the repercussions if I moved against him. I have spoken to Thushar, Vellapally Natesan and several other people who are channels to them. I also called BJP state president PS Sreedharan Pillai, but he expressed his helplessness,” Nasil said. 

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