Aroor MLA A.M. Arif on Friday dubbed certain reports about his going the Selvaraj way as “malicious efforts by Congress leaders in Alappuzha” to slander him.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr. Arif said Youth Congress leader P.C. Vishnunath's “directionless youth march was touted to turn the State upside down by the time it meandered its way from Kasaragod to the State capital”.

When it passed through Alappuzha district, the Congressmen had to create a ripple, if not a wave. “So they brought my name into the picture and created a controversy,” he said.

He attacked Chief Minister Oommen Chandy for introducing “defection politics” in Kerala. He said his name (as a prospective defection candidate from the CPI(M)-side to the Congress) was being mentioned in the news as a ploy to gain support for the Selvaraj incident in Neyyattinkara (where R. Selvaraj, who had won the election on CPI(M) ticket less than a year ago, resigned as MLA and is now contesting the by-election on Congress ticket).

Mr. Arif asserted that the result of the by-election in Neyyattinkara would be a firm statement against “defection politics. “My mission now is to ensure Mr. Selvaraj's defeat in the by-election. From last 30th I have been staying in Neyyattinkara and working for that,” he said.

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