Put off Kannur by-poll: BJP

via PNS | Kochi published on October 20, 2009

The Kerala BJP on Tuesday demanded that the Assembly by-poll scheduled for November 7 shuld be postponed in the context of the allegations about massive rigging of voters’ list for the constituency even as the Central Election Commission informed that a decision on whether the Kannur by-poll should be put off would be taken in two days.

Speaking at a Meet-the-Press programme in Kochi on Tuesday, based on the by-elections in three Assembly constituencies of the State, State BJP president PK Krishnadas said that the party had sent a fax to Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla requesting for a postponement of the by-poll unless and until an error-free voters’ list was prepared.

Krishnadas said that more than 11,000 names had been added to the voters’ list in the last three months by both the CPI (M)-led ruling LDF and the Congress-led Opposition UDF. Both the fronts had been trying to jeopardize the democratic system by manipulating the voters’ list in Kannur Assembly constituency, he alleged. The BJP leader said an investigation should be undertaken to find out the irregularities in the voters’ list and the authorities at fault should be brought to book.

Criticizing LDF regime in the State, Krishnadas said the law and order situation was deplorable as the Government was trying to protect the perpetrators of violence in the State. The LDF and UDF were supporting Islamist organizations like the PDP and NDF, which had terror links, he alleged.

He criticized the UPA Government at the Centre for signing the free trade agreement with the Association of South-East Asian Nations (Asean) and claimed that the pact would adversely affect the agriculture sector in Kerala.

Senior BJP leader and former Union minister O Rajagopal was the first to call for a postponement of the by-poll in Kannur said. He said in Kannur the other day that the by-election should not be held unless and until the anomalies in the voters’ list were resolved. He said the various political parties should get the opportunity to examine the list before going to the polls.

“The skies will not come down if this by-election is delayed by some days or weeks. There should be a flawless voters’ list for this. Such a list should be prepared first and the necessary examinations should be done. The election could be held after that,” he said.

Meanwhile, CPI(M) central committee member EP Jayarajan accused the Congress-led UDF of trying to sabotage the by-poll in Kannur constituency with the help of the UPA Government in Delhi. Alleging that it was the Congress which was trying to manipulate the voters’ list in Kannur, he said that the UDF was practicing “goondaism” there.

“The Congress leaders should abstain from malpractices and help the authorities to conduct free and fair by-election in Kannur. The situation here is like that under Maoist rule. The Congress is trying to jeopardize the poll, conducting false campaigns and challenging elections officials,” Jayarajan said.

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