In yet another embarrassment to the BJP, one of its senior office-bearers in Gujarat has had to resign after a 21-year-old girl from Surat filed a police complaint alleging rape and blackmail by him. Jayanti Bhanushali, Gujarat BJP vice-president and former legislator from Kutch, resigned from his post on Friday.
The victim said that she had got in touch with Bhanusali requesting his help for admission in a fashion designing college. The disgraced BJP leader, she alleged, called her to Gandhinagar and raped her in a moving car. Bhanusali also threatened her using a sharp weapon if she decided to tell anyone about her rape, she alleged.
According to a report by IANS, the victim said that Bhanusali’s men also filmed the entire act and used the video later to blackmail her for more ‘sexual favours.’ Bhanushali’s driver and others were also involved in the crime.
The same complainant had made similar allegations sometime back against the nephew of a former legislator, Sunil Bhanushali. However, Sunil Bhanushali alleged that the girl and her husband were demanding Rs 10-crore ransom.
Bhanushali, who represented Abdasa Assembly constituency in Kutch from 2007 to 2012, said in his resignation letter, “It appears that this application (to police) is a conspiracy to malign my image. Baseless allegations have been made against me and my family. Till the time I am cleared of the charges, I urge the party to relieve me of my responsibilities.”
The State BJP vice president has rubbished the allegations and claimed that this was a part of a conspiracy against him. In his resignation letter to state BJP president Jitu Vaghani, he said he would not resume his post only after his innonces was proved in the rape case.
Surat police commissioner Satish Sharma said that no FIR had been registered in the case yet. “We have forwarded the application to Kapodra police station in the city for further action,” he was quoted by PTI.