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Rahul Gandhi’s Wayanad poll rival arrested in cheating case

Rahul Gandhi’s Wayanad poll rival arrested in cheating case

Mangalore Today News Network

Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 22, 2019 : Thushar Vellapally, the BJP ally who contested against Rahul Gandhi from Kerala’s Wayanad in the national election earlier this year, was arrested near Dubai on Tuesday, in a case of alleged cheating. "He has been trapped," sources close to him said, NDTV reported.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has written to Foreign Minister Dr S Jaishankar seeking his intervention. "I express concern about his well-being and health while in custody. All possible help within the limits of law needs to be made available to him," the Chief Minister wrote.

Mr Vellapally was running a company in Dubai around 10 years ago, sources said.

"The company went into losses and the sub-contractors had demanded compensation for losses. A cheque given earlier as compensation, amounting to 8 million Dhirams, bounced recently when Thushar Vellapally was in Dubai, leading to his arrest," the source told NDTV. Mr Vellapally was arrested in Ajman near Dubai.

Mr Vellapally heads the Kerala unit of Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS), a political party and an ally of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

In Wayanad, he was defeated by Rahul Gandhi who got over 12 lakh votes. Mr Vellapally managed to get a mere 78,816 votes.

The politician, despite his defeat to Rahul Gandhi , is said to have been a strong face to establish the NDA’s presence in Kerala, where the coalition is trying to make electoral inroads. BJP chief Amit Shah, while introducing Mr Vellapally ahead of his first parliamentary election, had tweeted saying , "A vibrant and dynamic youth leader, he represents our commitment towards development and social justice. With him, NDA will emerge as Kerala’s political alternative."

Sources close to Thushar Vellapally claim that efforts are being made to release him on bail, with prominent Malayalis in Dubai intervening in the case.

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