Kerala police seize 1,500 kits carrying essential items. Why?

The UDF and LDF allege that the BJP ordered these to influence voting

Representative image of lorries  parked by the roadside (photo: National Herald archives)
Representative image of lorries parked by the roadside (photo: National Herald archives)

NH Digital

The Kerala Police has seized more than 1,500 bags carrying "essential items", allegedly for distribution to voters in Wayanad’s Sultan Bathery.

The vehicle carrying the kits was confiscated by the police on Wednesday, 24 April, around 7 p.m. during a lightning inspection based on a tip-off. The vehicle will be handed over to the flying squad.

Each kit had items worth Rs 279, including 1 kg sugar, 250 g tea, 50 g coconut oil, biscuit, rusk, washing powder and bath soap. Around 33 of the kits also had betel leaves, areca nut, lime and tobacco.

The lorry driver claimed that he was not informed about the final destination of the delivery. However, both the UDF and the LDF have alleged that the BJP ordered the kits for distribution to voters in the tribal colonies in the district.

Congress leader and Kalpetta MLA T. Siddique also thinks the BJP's local leaders got over 3,000 kits to distribute in the tribal colonies.

Allegedly, there were plans to distribute ration kits in Kalpetta and Mananthavady areas too.

BJP workers have rubbished these allegations.

When the police seized these kits, reports emerged that several others were being prepared at a supermarket in Mananthavady as well. This led to Congress workers camping out in front of the supermarket in protest. The police reportedly confiscated around 10 kits from there as well.

The flying squad of the Kerala Police then raided the godown of a wholesale shop, amidst more allegations of essentials kits being prepared there. Though no kits were seized from here, the officials collected CCTV footage from the premises.

Wayanad is a prestige seat for the Congress and the UDF. Incumbent MP Rahul Gandhi is contesting for the second time from here. He faces the LDF's CPI candidate Annie Raja and the BJP’s state president K. Surendran.

All of Kerala, including Wayanad, goes to the polls on Friday, 26 April.

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