Accused of rape, Gujarat BJP deputy chief Jayanti Bhanushali resigns

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Ahmedabad : Gujarat BJP vice-president and former legislator from Kutch Jayanti Bhanushali on Friday stepped down from his post after a 21-year-old girl from Surat filed a police complaint of rape and blackmail against him.

The complaint says that the girl came in contact with Bhanushali for her admission to a fashion designing college. She said Bhanushali had called her to Gandhinagar, where she alleged he raped her in a moving car, threatening her with a sharp weapon.

She claimed Bhanushali's men got a video made of her and later pressured her for sexual favours. According to the girl's complaint, 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.

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 innocence was proved in the rape case.