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AICC member in ‘immoral’ net

Thiruvananthapuram, Dec. 21: A Congress leader known for his crowd-pulling oratory was arrested with a woman last night from a rented house in their home state Kerala and booked under the immoral trafficking act before being let off on bail.

Police picked up AICC member Rajmohan Unnithan and Sangeeta, 33, (name changed) in Manjeri, some 200km from Kochi, around midnight after local people surrounded the house and demanded their arrest.

Unnithan, a former spokesman for the Kerala Congress, claimed he was on his way to Bangalore to meet his son and had given a lift to the woman who he said was also a party activist and that both were in Manjeri for work.

“She is a former secretary of the Seva Dal (a frontal organisation of the Congress) and a recipient of the best cadre honour from (Congress president) Sonia Gandhi,” Unnithan, in his fifties, said, accusing the ruling CPM and its ally PDP of staging the “drama”.

Both Unnithan and Sangeeta come from Kerala’s southern Kollam district. A medical report certified there was no sexual contact between the two but the scandal has hit at a time Unnithan, who lost to Kerala home minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan from Thalassery in 2006, was planning a comeback in state politics.

Sources said the police had a tough time as the mob tried to manhandle Unnithan, who played a villain in the film Balram Vs Taradas that starred Katrina Kaif and southern superstar Mammootty.

Workers of Abdul Nasser Madhani’s PDP and the CPM’s youth and women’s wings staged a sit-in before the police station demanding stern action.

Unnithan and the woman were today produced before the Manjeri judicial first class magistrate, who granted them bail.

Unnithan said state CPM chief Pinarayi Vijayan and PDP chairman Madhani were behind the “drama” because he had been vociferous against “their unholy nexus in Kerala politics”.

No Congress leader, however, came out in support of Unnithan. State Mahila Congress chief Shanimol Usman demanded Unnithan’s expulsion as television channels, especially the pro-CPM ones, flashed images of the Congress leader sitting in the police station with Sangeeta.

State Congress president Ramesh Chennithala said he would take action after consulting the AICC leadership.

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