A case has been filed against Bharatiya Janata Party’s Kerala unit chief K Surendran after he was accused of bribing a rival candidate to withdraw his nomination to contest the Assembly election held on April 6, NDTV reported on Tuesday.

On June 5, Bahujan Samaj Party candidate K Sundara had alleged that BJP leaders had given him Rs 2.5 lakh and a mobile phone not to contest from the Manjeswaram constituency against Surendran.

A local court in the state on Monday directed the police to register a case pertaining to “bribery with intent to sabotage elections” based on a petition filed by Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader VV Ramesan. “No arrest should be made without a warrant,” the court said.

The police told PTI that Surendran has been booked under Indian Penal Code Sections 171 B (bribery) and E (punishment for bribery). An official said investigation was underway to find out who gave the money to Sundara.

The allegations come at a time when the saffron party is also facing criticism in connection with the Kodakara money heist case. This pertains to a highway robbery, allegedly of Rs 3.5 crore, that took place in Kodakara town in Thrissur on April 3, three days before the Assembly elections in the state. Preliminary inquiry by the police revealed that the money was meant for election campaign.

Janadhipathya Rashtriya Party leader Parseetha Azheekode had also accused the Kerala BJP chief of bribing another candidate CK Janu with Rs 10 lakh to join the National Democratic Alliance. The saffron party, however, dismissed the allegations.