KERALA

Christian families to join BJP

KOCHI, APRIL 24. The BJP national president, M.Venkaiah Naidu, the former cricketer, Mohinder Amarnath, and the actress, Vijayashanthi, will attend a function to be held here on Sunday in which a group of prominent persons, including politicians and businessmen, will take BJP membership.

The BJP State secretary, A.N. Radhakrishnan, told reporters at a press conference here today that about 200 Christian families at Edappally would be joining the party on Sunday.

Alavikutti, former district general secretary of INTUC, will also join the BJP on Sunday. Mr. Alavikutti, who was present at the press conference, said that he was leaving the Congress as he was disillusioned by the factional feud within the party. Mr. Alavikutti is also the State president of the Lorry Transport Association.

Others joining the BJP include the former State secretary of the Janata Dal (U), N.M. Verghese, the Cryptms Private Limited managing director, Verghese, Samson Rodrigues, a lawyer, and merchants, including Thomas George and Alexander K.John.

Mr. Naidu will give membership to about 10 selected persons at the function. The rest will receive memberships from the BJP State president, P.S.Sreedharan Pillai, and the national executive member, C.K.Padmanabhan. Mr. Naidu will later leave for Kothamangalam to address the election campaign of P.C. Thomas. The meeting at Kothamangalam will also be attended by Mr. Thomas and Scaria Thomas, IFDP leader.

Mr. Radhakrishnan said that the Christian families joining BJP had nothing to do with the faction feud within the parish. He said that the public was being attracted by the party at large. He pointed out that Narayana Bhatt, district panchayat member of the Congress from Karakkad in Kasaragod district, had joined the BJP with about 5,000 workers.

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