Cong asks Kerala CM for judicial probe into BJP’s alleged ‘hawala’ racket

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The Congress party on Saturday asked Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to have the guts to order a judicial probe into allegations that a huge amount of money being transported from Kozhikode in north Kerala to Ernakulam allegedly for distribution to the BJP party candidates for the April 6 Assembly election was stolen on April 3.

A few middle level BJP leaders especially from Thrissur district have been questioned by the Kerala Police probing the case.

On Saturday, senior Congress Lok Sabha member K. Muraleedharan asked Vijayan to have the guts to order a judicial probe as the present police probe might lead nowhere.

“All know it would not be possible to get a judicial probe by either a sitting judge of the Kerala High Court or from the Supreme Court. So Vijayan should show the guts to order a judicial probe by a retired Supreme or High Court judge, as by now even an ally of the BJP led NDA has said they received money from the BJP during the election campaign,” said Muraleedharan.

“The second wave of Covid has been raging in the country because both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah were campaigning in West Bengal. There the money was used for election campaign and hence there are no issues, but in Kerala each BJP candidate is understood to have got Rs 3 crores and here since it was not used for campaign, allegations have surfaced. So Vijayan should order a judicial probe and if done, even Modi’s role in it can come out,” added Muraleedharan.

“We all know that State BJP president K. Surendran had contested from two seats — one the northernmost assembly seat at Manjeswaram and another one in the south, Konni. Everyone knows that he was using a helicopter for his election campaign. According to the rules the maximum a candidate can spend is Rs 30 lakhs. The Election Commission should find out if the helicopter expenses are included in Surendran’s campaign,” added Muraleedharan.

The Kerala unit of the BJP was caught on the wrong foot when a person filed a complaint before the Thrissur rural police that an amount of Rs 25 lakh which he was carrying in his vehicle to pay as advance money for a land transaction was stolen from him on the Thrissur-Kodakara highway.

The CPI-M’s acting secretary and convenor of the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF), A. Vijayaraghavan, then alleged that this money was “Hawala” money being used by the BJP to fund its electioneering and the money was meant for party candidates.

He also alleged that the BJP is responsible for the “Hawala” network and added that this was the first time such a huge money transfer has taken place in the state.

Vijayaraghavan then alleged that Rs 3.5 crore was allegedly swindled and that senior state leaders of the BJP were behind the deal.

The Kerala BJP is a divided house with Union Minister and former party state President V. Muraleedharan leading a group in which Surendran is also present while party Vice President Shobha Surendran and former state President P.K. Krishnadas lead the other faction.

Ever since this row broke out, the national leadership is peeved especially when reports came out that tribal leader C.K. Janu’s party JRP surfaced after having received Rs one million from Surendran for returning to the NDA.

This was revealed by Praseeda Azhikode, treasurer and party colleague of Janu. The charge was denied by Surendran and Janu, who threatened taking legal action against her.

And with this case on the radar, the state leadership of the BJP is meeting on Sunday.

–IANS

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