13 candidates filed nominations in Pathanamthitta till Friday

United Democratic Front candidate Anto Antony and Bharatiya Janata Party candidate M.T. Ramesh filed their nomination papers for contesting the Loka Sabha elections from Pathanamthitta before District Collector S. Harikishore, who is the Returning Officer, here on Friday.

Mr. Antony, accompanied by Adoor Prakash, Revenue Minister; P. Mohanraj, District Congress Committee president; K.E. Abdul Rahman, Indian Union Muslim League district president, and Victor T. Thomas, UDF district chairman, reached the collectorate by 1 p.m. He submitted three sets of nominations before the Returning Officer.

Talking to The Hindu , Mr. Mohanraj said the UDF launched a vigorous campaign in order to increase Mr. Antony’s victory margin. He said the UDF would be able to convert the development initiatives of the sitting MP into votes.

The DCC chief said the entire Congress machinery was intact to fight the divisive politics of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the BJP.

Airport issue

Mr. Ramesh, accompanied by the party leaders K. Haridas, V.N. Unni, T.R. Ajithkumar and B. Radhakrishna Menon, came to the collectorate in the afternoon.

Talking to reporters, Mr. Ramesh said it was the BJP that had first launched the agitation against the Aranmula airport project and hence the anti-airport votes would be polled in his favour.

He repeated his charge that both the LDF and the UDF were responsible for whatever violation of laws taken place in the name of the airport project.

According to official sources, 13 candidates filed their nominations before the Returning Officer here till Friday.

Eliyamma Varghese of the Trinamool Congress, P.J. Seleena of the Bahujan Samajwadi Party, Mathew Pyari, K.K. Ajithkumar, Geetha Rajasekharan Nair, and T.K. Pushpangadan were the others who filed their nomination papers on Friday.

Peelipose Thomas of the LDF had submitted his nominations on Thursday.

S. Radhamony of the Left Unity Front, Manzoor Thengana of the Social Democratic Party of India, Sabukkutty Joy, and V.M. Sulaiman Maulavi, both Independents, filed their papers earlier.