Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Tamil Nadu State president and former Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan has accused the United Democratic Front (UDF) candidate in Neyyattinkara R. Selvaraj of committing a political crime by deceiving the 53,000 people who had voted for him in the previous Assembly election.

Inaugurating the election convention of BJP candidate O. Rajagopal at Neyyattinkara on Friday evening, Mr. Radhakrishnan said that by crossing over to the UDF, Mr. Selvaraj had committed a political murder of the voters. Since the Communist Party of India (Marxist) lacked the confidence to give an assurance to the voters that the Left Democratic Front (LDF) candidate F. Lawrence would not cross over to the UDF, the voters were unable to support him. Thus Mr. Rajagopal with his dispassionate nature had become the natural choice of the electorate of Neyyattinkara, he said.

'Keenly watched'

The people of Tamil Nadu were keenly monitoring the poll outcome in Neyyattinkara. Two by-elections, to Pudukottai and Sankaran Kovil constituencies, had to be held in Tamil Nadu. The death of the sitting MLAs necessitated the by-elections, but the Neyyattinkara by-election was imposed on the people due to floor-crossing. The educated people of Kerala had been hoodwinked. The Neyyattinkara by-election had gained national significance. History would be created once Mr. Rajagopal was elected to the State Assembly, he said.

BJP State president V. Muraleedharan who inaugurated the webcasting of the campaign of Mr. Rajagopal said that the election result would be a reply to the pressure politics being pursued by the Indian union Muslim League (IUML) in the State.

Portfolio allocation

Never before had allocation of portfolios done on the basis of community. The UDF decision to give a fifth Cabinet berth to the IUML had changed the political milieu of the State. All sections, including the majority and minority communities, had opposed the Congress decision to yield to the pressure of IUML. Mr. Rajagopal represented the conscience of the people who had come out against such decisions. A section of the Congressmen had come out against Mr. Selvaraj. Both the fronts had defined Mr. Rajagopal as their principal opponent. Now the race between the fronts was for the second position and this would work in favour of Mr. Rajagopal, he said.

Mr. Rajagopal said the election would mark a change in the State's politics as Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had said. It would not be in favour of the rival fronts, but would pave the way for the entry of a BJP representative in the Assembly. BJP mandalam president N.P. Hari presided Former State president P.K. Krishnadas, general secretaries A.N. Radhakrishnan, K.P. Sreesan, Mahila Morcha president Shobha Surendran, BJP national executive member Alphonse Kannanthanam, Yuva Morcha president K. Surendran, Minority Morcha president T.O. Noushad, were present.

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