‘Payment’ charge raised against BJP in Kerala

A payment controversy appeared to dog the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday. It seemed centred around BJP State president K. Surendran and tribal leader and chairperson of the Janadhipathya Rashtriya Party (JRP) C.K. Janu.

Ms. Janu’s party colleague and JRP State treasurer Praseeda Azheekode ignited the scandal by claiming that Mr. Surendran had paid Ms. Janu ₹10 lakh in cash to ensure her allegiance to the NDA and presence at an election meeting attended by Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Ms. Praseeda claimed that she was party to the alleged deal.

Hours before Ms. Praseeda met journalists, anonymous persons had flooded the social media with a voice clip, allegedly a recording of a conversation between the JRP treasurer and Mr. Surendran. Soon, Ms. Praseeda alleged the male voice at the opposite end was that of Mr. Surendran, and she was also part of the conversation.

Ms. Praseeda said the BJP seemed intent on securing Ms. Janu’s re-entry into the NDA. She alleged that Ms. Janu had demanded ₹10 crore for election expenses, five Assembly seats, and a berth in the Union Cabinet. However, the JRP leader had settled for less and Mr. Surendran had paid her ₹10 lakh for immediate expenses. The alleged transaction took place in Thiruvananthapuram ahead of the conclusion of Mr. Surendran’s Vijay Yatra.

Janu denies charge

However, Ms. Janu told reporters in Wayanad that a conspiracy was afoot to scuttle the JPR and damage the NDA. She said would sue Ms. Praseeda for defamation. Ms. Janu said Ms. Praseeda’s allegations were baseless. As an NDA ally, she required no intermediary to interact with the BJP leadership, including Mr. Shah. The NDA had fielded Ms. Janu at Sulthan Bathery in Wayanad. The JRP had witnessed factional feuding in recent times, and Ms. Janu hinted that the controversy was a fallout of the simmering intra-party dispute.

BJP silent

The BJP has not responded to the insinuations. It has repeatedly maintained that it transferred party funds only via banking channels. The financial transactions, election-related or otherwise, were accounted for fully.

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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 6:03:29 AM |

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