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CPI(M) importing `Bengal model:' BJP

Special Correspondent

`Prospective candidates theatened in Kannur for unopposed wins'




  • THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: State president of the BJP P. S. Sreedharan Pillai said here on Monday that the CPI (M) had used muscle power to prevent opposing parties from fielding their candidates in the panchayat elections.

    Addressing a `Meet-the-Press Programme' organised by the Kesari Journalists Trust, the BJP leader said the CPI (M) was importing its `Bengal model' into Kerala. The BJP viewed this with concern.

    The State president said CPI (M) candidates had been elected unopposed in around 100 wards in Kannur district not because there were no candidates to oppose them. Prospective candidates had been threatened against filing nominations, and in a few cases, forced to withdraw their nominations.

    The UDF, which was demoralised, was unable to address the situation. This could be seen from the lament of the Kannur DCC president about the CPI (M) highhandedness despite his party being in charge of the Home portfolio in Government. Thus, only the BJP was fighting the situation.

    Mr. Pillai said that the BJP was contesting 12,300 seats to the local self-governments across the State. It was also the party with the largest number of candidates in the arena. It had gone for adjustments only for about 100 seats. Such adjustments were there with both the fronts. In some places, it was contesting as separate alliance consisting of parties from both the fronts.

    He said that such local adjustments were not unusual in the past also. "The outgoing council in Varavoor panchayat is controlled by a front consisting of the Congress, Muslim League, CPI and the BJP."

    Declining to name the nine DCC presidents who had approached the BJP for help in the elections, the State president said the BJP had refused to have any adjustment because they wanted a secret understanding. They had approached their district counterparts in the BJP.

    He said that the UDF as well as the LDF were responsible for the underdevelopment of the State. The BJP was of the view that over-politicisation should be avoided in the panchayats. However, the LDF and the UDF were contesting on the basis of a State-level political agenda stated through their manifestos. In several States, even party symbols were not being allocated for elections to local authorities.

    Referring to reports alleging KGB funding of the Congress and the CPI during and before the Emergency, Mr. Pillai demanded that those concerned should disclose whether any part of the 1,030 million roubles received from the Soviet Union had been used in Kerala to suppress opposition to the Emergency. It was notable that then Chief Minister C. Achutha Menon had visited Indira Gandhi before her trip to Moscow.

    The oppression during the Emergency had been directed at rightist parties and organisations and not against the leftists.

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