Amidst allegation of nexus, Kerala BJP’s candidate list features former CPM and left members
Adding to the current controversy surrounding BJP senior leader R Balashankar’s claim that the CPM struck a deal with BJP to win in Chengannur, Ramesh said that the opposition has been making similar claims but none believed them. “However, adding a small correction to Balashankar, the unholy deal is not limited to three constituencies, but the whole of Kerala. K Surendran and Pinarayi Vijayan should reveal the details of the deal they struck to help each other,” Ramesh said. He added that the CPM is betraying their followers by getting into bed with the saffron party.
Moreover, Ramesh said that the CPM had been providing candidates to the BJP, especially in Kottayam, Aranmula, Cherthala, Mavelikkara, Kalliasseri, and Kuttanad. BJP’s Kochi Lok Sabha candidate Vishwanatha Menon had been a senior CPM leader, and the party’s MLA and MP. Former BJP minister Alphonse Kannanthanam had been an LDF candidate in 2006 from Kanjirappaly. Ramesh added that this flow from CPM to BJP is also evident in states such as Tripura and West Bengal.
Earlier this week, CPM lost one of its senior members to Bharat Dharma Jana Sena. TS Jyothis, who has been with CPM for almost 30 years and had been a prominent member in the local administration, quit the party and joined BDJS to be its Cherthala candidate. In an interview, he alleged the CPM of not tapping into youngsters within the party. “The party doesn’t care about its young or hardworking members, and instead of tapping into that potential, the leadership snubs them out. I believe the party is stuck inside a caucus/mafia that determines its actions,” he had said.
The CPI is no different in this scenario. Alappuzha council member and former district panchayat vice president Thambi Mettuthara had resigned from CPI. In his resignation letter, he said that Kanam Rajendran was acting like an autocratic leader within the party and that CPI was acting as CPM’s B Team. According to sources, Thambi was one of the three people considered for Haripad before R Sajilal was selected. Reportedly, Thambi will contest as a BDJS candidate in the upcoming election in Kuttanad.
BJP’s candidate list also includes other CPM members. In Aranmula, former CPM leader Biju Mathew will contest the election for BJP, and he had been a CPM candidate in previous elections as well. In Kottayam, three-time Poonjar Thekkekara panchayat president and CPM leader Minerva Mohan will stand for BJP. The latter will also field K Sanju — previous CPM candidate and DYFI leader — in Mavelikkara. The saffron party’s alliance partner All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam will field B Naseema at Mannarkkad. Naseema was a former All India Democratic Women’s Association of the CPM and the latter’s area committee member.
Interestingly, the BJP state leadership has denied Balashankar’s claims with state president K Surendran saying that the allegations are baseless. He added that the entire scenario is a CPM-Congress conspiracy to oust BJP. He asked why Congress is “not putting on a show in Dharmadom as they did in Nemom”. Adding to it, BJP Minister V Muraleedharan said that Balashankar’s claims are merely an emotional reaction to getting a seat.
Yesterday, senior Kerala BJP leader R Balashankar alleged that the CPM has a deal with the BJP, and as a result, he was denied a seat in Chengannur. He claimed that the BJP fielded a candidate that is integral to CPM’s victory, and added that the saffron party behave like a mafia rather than a political party.
Balashankar noted that the CPM and BJP are engaged in a quid-pro-quo deal as the latter will allow CPM to win Chengannur and Aranmula, while the left party will help BJP in Konni. He asked why the saffron party would field K Surendran in Konni when he came third during the 2019 by-election. Moreover, Surendran did not produce any good performance, as he was also third in the Lok Sabha election from Pathanamthitta. Balashankar alleged that the BJP is sacrificing two A-class constituencies to win Konni.