KERALA

BJP for common candidate against Murali

PALAKKAD, FEB. 26. The BJP National Council member and in-charge of party affairs in Kerala, Padmanabha Acharya, has said the his party's strategy in the Assembly byelection in Wadakkanchery will be to get the Electricity Minister, K. Muraleedharan, defeated.

Addressing a press conference at the Media Centre here today, the BJP leader said talks were being held with some political parties to find a common candidate against Mr. Muraleedharan.

Asked whether the BJP would support the LDF candidate in Wadakkanchery to ensure the defeat of Mr. Muraleedharan, he said the party could examine every option to ensure the defeat of the UDF candidate, who was in the forefront with his tirade against the BJP.

Mr. Acharya claimed that the BJP would open its account in Kerala in the coming Lok Sabha elections. The party would put up candidates in all the 19 seats and one seat would be given to P.C. Thomas. The party would announce its candidates on March 3.

The BJP was holding talks with some parties and organisations on alliance in the Lok Sabha polls in Kerala, he said.

The party would raise issues like Marad and the problems like drought in Palakkad and other parts of the State in the election campaign.

Incidents like Marad were attempts to destabilise the country, Mr. Acharya said.

Funds diversion: He alleged that the funds allotted for drought relief in Palakkad was diverted to other districts by a State Minister to use it in his area of influence. Such things would be exposed by the BJP, he said.

The late Governor Sikander Bakht did not get "proper medical care in Thiruvananthapuram Medical College," Mr. Acharya said, adding "an inquiry has to be conducted on the matter."