When the LDF hit peek controversy with their Panchayat president candidate in Ranni — Shobha Charlie — winning with BJP support, they went into damage control mode and asked Shobha to resign. After she refused to do, the LDF had no choice but to remove the Kerala Congress (M) candidate from their alliance to save face. However, Adv Shine G Kurup, who is the Ranni BJP President, claimed in a Facebook post that it wasn’t a simple affair.
Leaked official documents reveal that Shobha had signed an agreement with Shine, claiming that the former will not be participating in any LDF activities, except for Kerala Congress (M)’s events. The BJP local president agrees that he would instead lend his support to Shobha — recommending her name for Panchayat President and voting for her. The problem here is that in the contract, the date of signing the document is December 30, 20120, but the date of acquiring the stamp paper is December 23.
In the agreement, the BJP notes that they couldn’t support Shobha if she chose left-favouring decisions, and their backup was only possible if she left the LDF. However, the president election was on December 30 as well, but the LDF hadn’t removed her from the post until one day later. If that was the case, then how could the BJP support without being absolutely sure that the LDF would remove her from the post? The Congress had already cried foul over the incident when the LDF removed only Shobha and not anyone else involved in the incident. This revelation would mean that the LDF had made an effective agreement with the saffron party to deny power to Congress.
Moreover, Shine’s Facebook video seems to indicate that the decision to come to an agreement had been a long time in the making. He says that the party’s choice to support Shobha was fixed after she left the LDF, but she hadn’t left the alliance when the BJP had voted for her on December 30. Political experts believe that this was a clear nexus between the red and saffron party to keep Congress at bay. He also added that the statement that BJP votedfor LDF candidate is wrong. He corrects it as “LDF ward members voted for a candidate that the BJP supported”.
In Ranni, the LDF and UDF had won five seats each, BJP won two and an independent candidate won one. The UDF was poised to win the election, as the independent would have voted for them. However, the BJP’s votes changed the whole scenario.