The BJP announced a seven-party alliance comprising of DMDK, PMK, MDMK, IJK, KMDK
Cadres of the Bharathiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday resorted to a sit-in hunger strike at the party office in Coimbatore, opposing the decision of the party to field former parliamentarian C.P. Radhakrishnan as a party's nominee for the Coimbatore Lok Sabha seat.
On Friday morning, more than 150 party activists staged a sit-in hunger strike at the party office in VKK Menon Road on Friday urging the party high command to change the candidate and announce the party's State Secretary G.K.S. Selvakumar as their candidate.
The BJP on Thursday announced a seven party alliance comprising of Desiya Murpokku Dravidar Kazhagam (DMDK), Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), Marumalarchi Daravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), Indiya Jananayaka Katchi (IJK), and Kongu Makkal Desiya Katchi (KMDK).
BJP also announced that C.P. Radhakrishnan, who was elected from Coimbatore Parliamentary constituency in 1998 soon after the serial blasts, will be fielded as a candidate this time.
Even when the seat sharing talks were in progress, many names were going rounds and other strong contenders in the race were party's state secretary G.K.S. Selvakumar, national secretary of the party's Trade Cell S.R. Sekhar, and State General Secretary Vanathi Sreenivasan.
Party's District President R. Nandakumar and district unit spokesperson of the party Kovai Sridharan said that during the last ten years, it was G.K.S. Selvakumar who struggled for keeping the party going and had organised so many events to keep the spirit of the party men alive.
Agitators said that Mr. Radhakrishnan was not actively in the party's organisational activities for the last ten years and had always maintained a distance from the party's grass root workers. Failure to give the seat to Mr. Selvakumar had brought down the morale of the party workers, they claimed.
When contacted, Mr. Radhakrishnan told The Hindu that such resistance and opposition was quite common in politics. He said that the agitators would have had some expectations and disappointment has perhaps resulted in such a protest. Denying charges, he said that he had always been accessible to the party people. “I am on my way from Chennai and said that on Saturday, he would meet the people who are agitated and sounded confident in convincing them to resolve the issue.”
Repeated attempts to get in touch with the party's State president and nominee for the Kanyakumari Lok Sabha seat Pon. Radhakrishnan went in vain, as he did not answer the phone calls.