Police record statement of Kerala BJP chief's namesake

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Kasaragod, June 6 (PTI) Kerala police on Sunday recorded the statement of K Sundara, the namesake candidate against BJP State chief K Surendran who allegedly threatened the former to withdraw his candidature from the State Assembly election that was held in April.

The statement was recorded after the Kasaragod district police chief directed the Badiyadukka police to register a case against Surendran.

Sundara, a BSP candidate of Manjeswaram constituency in the district and a namesake of Surendran, had on March 22 withdraw his nomination papers thereby giving an edge to the BJP chief.

Surendran, however, lost the election.

The similarity of the names of the two was considered to have helped Sundara garner 467 votes in the constituency as an independent candidate during the 2016 Assembly polls in which Surendran lost to IUML nominee P B Abdul Razzaq by just 89 votes.

'We have recorded the statement of Sundara. He said he was threatened by the BJP workers to withdraw the nomination papers. Also, he said he was offered money and that he had accepted it,' the police told PTI.

The case would be registered based on Sundara's statement that he was threatened by BJP workers to withdraw the nomination, they said.

Meanwhile, Sundara told television channels that a day after he filed nomination papers, the BJP workers reached his house and threatened him to withdraw his candidature.

'A day after I filed the nomination papers, the BJP workers came to my place and asked me to withdraw the nomination. They gave me the amount in cash,' he said.

Besides withdrawing the candidature, Sundara had joined the BJP.

Manjeswaram was one among the A-Plus constituencies for BJP in Kerala where the party pinned hopes of winning the elections to the state Assembly.

The BJP has since denied all the allegations.

CPI(M) candidate V V Rameshan, who came third in the 2021 election, had, on Saturday, approached the Kasaragod district police chief seeking to register a case into the matters related to the revelation.

IUML's A K M Ashraf won the seat with 65,758 votes while Surendran managed to bag 65,013 votes.

Rameshan got 40,639 votes. PTI RRT NVG NVG