KERALA

BJP candidate for by-poll announced

KOZHIKODE OCT. 28. K.R. Prathapachandra Varma, State committee member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), will be the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate for the by-election from the Thiruvalla Assembly constituency.

This was announced by the BJP State president, P.S. Sreedharan Pillai, after a meeting of the election committee of his party here today.

Earlier in the day, a meeting of the State unit of the BJP-led NDA had decided that the BJP should field its candidate for the by-election. A formal announcement of the candidate would be made by the BJP Central leadership.

The meeting of the NDA was attended, among others, by representatives of the Indian Federal Democratic Party (IFDP) and the Samata Party.

Mr. Varma, a former member of the BJP national committee, is familiar to the voters of the constituency since he had contested an election there earlier.

Mr. Pillai expressed the hope that the BJP candidate would be able to offer the voters an opportunity to reject the candidates fielded by the LDF and UDF, which in BJP's perception had been pursuing a policy of appeasement of communal forces. He said that odds favoured the NDA candidate since the voters were well aware of the ``paralysis that had overtaken the State administration'' and the manner in which the Indian Union Muslim League ``had been exploiting the situation to consolidate the several advantages it already enjoyed''.

B.K. Sekhar was elected today as State convener of the NDA in today's meeting.

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