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Gujarat BJP vice president quits after accused of raping student


Ahmedabad, July 14: Former MLA Jayanti Bhanushali has resigned as the vice president of Gujarat BJP following an accusation of rape against him. The 53-year-old leader from Kutch district denied the allegation in his resignation letter sent to the state BJP president, Jitu Vaghani, and claimed it was a conspiracy to malign his image.

Former MLA Jayanti Bhanushali

Vaghani on Friday accepted the resignation, the BJP said in a statement. Bhanushali had represented Abdasa Assembly constituency in Kutch from 2007 to 2012

"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," Bhanushali said in the letter.

A 21-year-old woman, a resident of Surat, submitted an application seeking registration of a rape case against Bhanushali to the police commissioner's office on July 10.

No FIR has been registered in the case yet, said Surat police commissioner Satish Sharma.

"We have forwarded the application to Kapodra police station in the city for further action," he added.

The woman alleged that Bhanushali raped her on several occasions since last November after making a false promise of securing admission for her in a reputed fashion designing college.

One of his assistants also shot a video of the act on a cell phone with the intention of blackmailing her, she alleged in her application.

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