Setback for NDA: Poll officers reject papers of Thalassery, Guruvayur, Devikulam candidates

N Haridas
N Haridas

Kannur/Munnar: A political row and a legal battle are likely to ensue as the nomination papers of three candidate choices of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance were rejected by the electoral authorities during scrutiny on Saturday owing to apparent lapses. In effect, the third important political alliance in the poll fray won't have candidates on three of the 140 legislative constituencies in Kerala. The constituencies are Thalassery, Guruvayur and Devikulam.

The BJP has announced it will approach the Supreme Court immediately over the slip-up on the Thalassery seat for which its Kannur district chief N Haridas had filed the papers.

Reports say the Form-A submitted by the candidate lacked the signature of the BJP national president, but had the seal.

It is on Form-A the party's national chief authorises its state president to allocate the poll symbol to the candidate.

Though Haridas had a proxy in K Lijesh, the BJP block president, both had similar Form-As lacking the signature of the national president.

Thalassery is a prime seat in BJP's election plans. Here the party had bagged the most number of votes, 22,125, in the 2016 state polls.

In Guruvayur

Adv Nivedida Subramanian, the BJP candidate in Guruvayur, also have to sit out of the poll fray. The poll authorities dismissed her nomination papers reasoning that the party state chief's letter endorsing her as the official candidate is unsigned.

Nivedida Subramanian
Nivedida Subramanian

Even her proxy candidate's papers too failed scrutiny as they were found incomplete.

In Devikulam

In Devikulam in Idukki district the papers of the AIADMK candidate Dhanalakshmi Marimuthu was rejected as it was found incomplete. The papers of three others, including her dummy, too were rejected.

The other two are BSP's Thankachan and Independent Ponpandi. AIADMK is also part of the NDA alliance.

Reports say Dhanalakshmi's Form-26 was deficient. She had secured 11,613 votes in 2016 contesting as an independent, a little more than the 9,592 votes BJP candidate had got.

Sources say one S Ganesh, who had filed the papers as an independent candidate, has been approached by the NDA to contest on its behalf. He was hurriedly inducted into the AIADMK and the necessary paper works were being completed on Saturday afternoon as replacement for Dhanalakshmi.

Poll ramifications

Often political parties field a dummy candidate to cover up in case of rare exigencies like the one caused by untoward developments during the election process, but the documents of NDA dummies too have been found not up to the mark.

This slip-up could have ramifications on the voting day as those who intended to vote for the NDA in the three constituencies are certain to opt for a candidate of a rival party.

In Kondotty

Meanwhile, the scrutiny of papers filed by KP Sulaiman Haji, the LDF candidate for the Kondotty assembly constituency in Malappuram district has been set aside.

Political opponents had challenged his claims regarding life partner and properties.

Relief for Shaji

KM Shaji
KM Shaji

KM Shaji, the Muslim League candidate for the Azhikode assembly constituency, faced some tense moments as the LDF challenged his nomination on the grounds that he was disqualified for six years by the Kerala High Court earlier. However, the electoral officers dismissed this contention and accepted his nomination to contest in the polls.

In late 2018 the Supreme Court had ordered a conditional stay on the High Court judgement cited by the LDF.

Shaji had won from the same constituency in the 2016 polls, but his CPM rival had filed a petition alleging Shaji had indulged in communally biased actions during the election campaign.

Reports say the prospects of LDF candidates on these seats are now likely to be badly hit.

In the Thalassey seat now the poll battle will be primarily between AN Shamseer of the CPM and MK Aravindakshan of the Congress.

In Guruvayur the main contest will now be reduced to CPM's N K Akbar and Muslim League's K N A Khadar.

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