Thiruvananthapuram, March 20 : In a major blow to the BJP-led NDA in Kerala, the nomination papers of two BJP candidates and one of its ally AIADMK, were declared invalid during scrutiny at the designated centres on Saturday.
Reacting to the matter, the BJP asserted it will take legal recourse over it.
The state will see a direct contest between the ruling Left and the Congress-led UDF in this year’s polls.
Soon after the scrutiny, the Congress and the CPI-M leaders engaged in a war of words, alleging that the rejection was a part of the secret BJP alliance.
At Thalassery in Kannur district, the nomination of BJP candidate who is also the district president — N.Haridas– was found invalid and so he won’t be able to contest the polls. It has come as a shocker to the saffron party, as Union Home Minister Amit Shah was scheduled to campaign at Thalassery.
In the 2016 Assembly elections, the BJP secured the maximum of 22,125 votes from Kannur district.
Likewise, Guruvayoor constituency’s BJP candidate Nividetha’s nomination papers were found invalid after the State BJP president K. Surendran’s signature was found to be missing. In the 2016 Assembly polls, the BJP candidate had secured 25,490 votes.
The third constituency where the nomination papers were found invalid was Devikulam in Idukki district and here it was the ally of the BJP — AIADMK candidate R.M. Dhanalakshmy — who finished third in the 2016 polls and bagged 11,613 votes.
In 2016, the AIADMK was not an ally of the BJP, but this time it is part of the NDA and is expecting to do well, as the constituency has a huge number of estate workers who hail from Tamil Nadu.
As soon as the news surfaced, M.V. Jayarajan, District Secretary of the CPI-M at Kannur, said this clearly shows the tacit understanding between the Congress and the BJP.
State Congress president Mullapally Ramachandran, however, alleged a deal between the CPI-M and the BJP.
“To retain power, the CPI-M will resort to any deal and it would even be with Sangh Parivar forces. If one looks into the candidates of the BJP in some constituencies, it clearly emphasises that a deal exists between them,” said Ramachandran.
Kerala Assembly elections will be held on April 6 and counting will take place on May 2.