Kochi: Kerala BJP Chief K Surendran on Thursday refuted allegations that he bribed tribal leader and chairperson of Janadhipathya Rashtriya Party (JRP) C K Janu for contesting the state assembly elections as an NDA candidate.
His response comes a day after an alleged telephonic conversation between him and JRP state treasurer Praseeda Azheekode was aired by various TV channels in which the BJP state president was purportedly heard talking about offering Rs 10 lakh to Janu.
However, Janu has denied the charges leveled against her.
The senior BJP leader also asserted that his party has no links to the Kodakara highway robbery case.
Addressing the media here, Surendran said the allegations were deliberately levelled by vested interests to tarnish the image of the BJP.
Responding to a query on the audio clip, Surendran said hundreds of people call him everyday especially during the elections.
”I am not saying that the conversation did not take place. But Janu has not asked for any money from me nor have I given anything to her. Let the probe agencies check the authenticity of the audio clip,” he said.
Janu has been charged with demanding Rs 10 crore from Surendran for election expenses, few assembly seats, and a berth in the Union Cabinet.
Azheekode claimed that Janu settled for less and Surendran paid her Rs 10 lakh for immediate expenses.
Janu unsuccessfully contested from Sulthan Bathery assembly constituency during the April 7 elections.
Lashing out at the ruling Left over the highway robbery case, Surendran said the saffron party was being targeted unnecessarily.
Surendran, in an apparent threatening tone, said those media houses which are publishing news against the BJP should bear in mind that ”there is rule of law prevailing”.
”A section of the media is conniving with the CPI(M) not only to defame the BJP but to divert attention from the issue of controversial gold smuggling and related cases,” the BJP leader alleged.
Meanwhile, CPI(M) state secretary in-charge A Vijayaraghavan accused the BJP of using large amounts of black money in the last assembly election and said they have been exposed now.
”They tried to overthrow the democratic process. The central investigative agencies are silent now, the people can see it. This proves that they are working as per the whims and fancies of the BJP,” he said.
According to police sources, senior BJP leaders in the state could be called for recording statements in the Kodakara case.
A special investigation team probing the highway robbery of hawala money at Kodakara, has questioned RSS leader and BJP state organisation secretary M Ganeshan and party office secretary Gireesh.
In an embarrassment to the saffron party, the investigators have also quizzed BJP Thrissur district general secretary K R Hari and Ayyanthole Area Secretary G Kashinadhan in connection with the case.
According to a complaint filed by Shamjeer Samsudheen on April 7, an unknown gang had stopped his car on the Kodakara flyover and robbed Rs 25 lakh kept in the vehicle, when he was on his way to Kochi from Kozhikode.
Though the complainant had said that only Rs 25 lakh was stolen, the investigators later found that the actual amount could be about Rs 3.5 crore and it was a hawala transaction.