KERALA

Ready for Assembly polls: BJP

Challenges both fronts

Staff Reporter

KOCHI: BJP State president P.S. Sreedharan Pillai has said that the results of the local body polls have given a renewed confidence to the party to face Assembly polls. Talking to mediapersons here after a core-committee meeting of the party here on Thursday, he said the party would take it as a challenge if the United Democratic Front (UDF) makes a `mini-India' alliance in Kerala on the lines of the United Progressive Alliance with CPI(M) at the Centre.

Mr. Pillai said the BJP would be the deciding factor in 60-odd local bodies. The party will rule four or five panchayats while it has reached the top position in nine panchayats. The party has gained double the number of seats it had received during the previous polls. This achievement has proved that the stand adopted by the party is correct. The party had found its space despite the presence of two Fronts.

The party will take decisions most favourable for serving the people. The BJP had only made adjustments in some seats. Mr. Pillai alleged that the UDF and LDF together sabotaged the prospects of the BJP in Marad and Kuttipuram. Pointing out that the UDF was in power at Chavakkad and Chenagannur civic bodies because of the support from BJP, he questioned the claim of the former that it does not need the support of the party. Commenting on the statement reportedly made by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy that the polls had proved which was the real Congress, Mr. Pillai wondered whether that was the only purpose for conducting the local body polls.

Senior leaders of the party O. Rajagopal and L. Ganesh were among those participated in the meeting. A meeting of the district-level leaders will be held on Friday to take stock of the post-poll situation.

Refutes CPI(M) charge

Our Special Correspondent writes from Thiruvananthapuram: BJP spokesman B. K. Sekhar said here on Thursday that the BJP had not entered into either open or secret understanding with any party in Thiruvananthapuram district.

Addressing a press conference, the BJP spokesman said that the UDF-BJP link alleged by the CPI(M) district secretary M. Vijayakumar was baseless. Mr. Vijayakumar had alleged that the BJP had not fielded candidates in some wards where it had obtained majority votes in the Parliament elections to help the UDF. However, the CPI(M) had won in several wards in Thiruvananthapuram Corporation where the BJP candidate had got majority votes in the Parliament elections. If one went by Mr. Vijayakumar's argument, it would also have to be said that CPI(M) supporters had voted for the BJP candidate in the Parliament elections.

He said that the victory of PDP candidate, Poonthura Siraj, was a proof that the CPI(M) had sought the help of extremist elements in this election.

He said that the party could not field candidates in some wards because of late receipt of voters' lists, lack of party units in the locality and other constraints.

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