Politics

Granted Bail, Rahul Gandhi's Opponent from Wayanad Thushar Vellapally Says Cheque Default Case False

Granted Bail, Rahul Gandhi's Opponent from Wayanad Thushar Vellapally Says Cheque Default Case False

Thiruvananthapuram: National Democratic Alliance (NDA) ally in Kerala Thushar Vellapally on Thursday asserted that charges levelled against him in a Rs 19-crore cheque default case in which he was arrested and released on bail in the UAE were false and he would fight them legally.

Vellapally, chief of Bharath Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS) which is a partner of the BJP-led NDA in the state, also said there was no political conspiracy as alleged by the state BJP chief and said it was an attempt by his former sub-contractor to "extort" money fraudulently. Talking to a Malayalam TV channel after being released on bail by a court in Ajman, he thanked Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, non-resident Kerala businessman Yousuf Ali and the Central government for intervening in the matter.

"I came here (Ajman) on August 20 and was planning to leave on 23rd. I have some property here. Some persons from here called me and enquired whether I was interested in selling it and offered a very high price," Vellappaly said. When he went to meet the potential buyers, two CID officers came and arrested him, he said.

"I have mentioned everything before the court. I had a company here 20 years ago. Those who have filed the (cheque default) case might have stolen the cheque from my company and approached the court," Vellappaly said. "All the charges are false and I will fight the case legally. The man who filed the case was a subcontractor with my company years ago," he said.

On state BJP chief PS Sreedharan Pillai's remarks alleging a political conspiracy behind the arrest, Vellappaly replied in the negative. "There is no political conspiracy. This man (the subcontractor) wants to extort money from me," he added. Alleging political conspiracy, Pillai in a statement here said, "Vellappaly is innocent and prima facie, it was evident that some people with vested interest had trapped him by inviting him to the Gulf country and arrest him."

Vellapally was arrested at a hotel in Ajman on Tuesday, Khaleej Times in Dubai quoted a local source associated with his party BDJS. Thushar, who unsuccessfully contested as the NDA candidate against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in the 2019 general elections from Wayanad, was released on bail by Ajman Public Prosecution, but cannot travel without clearing a civil case, Gulf News reported, quoting his uncle KS Vachaspathy.

Vellapally had issued a cheque of Dh10 million (around Rs 19 crore) years ago to a construction firm that had bounced, the Khaleej Times report quoted sources as saying. The complaint was registered by a subcontractor from Thrissur, Kerala, who worked for Vellapally-owned Boeing Construction Company LLC that is now defunct.

Expressing concern about the well being and health of Vellappaly, Vijayan on Thursday wrote to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and sought his intervention in the matter. Vellapally is also the vice president of the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam, a prominent organisation of the backward Ezhava community in Kerala.

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