20 October 2009
Kannur (Kerala): The Kannur District Collector V.K. Balakrishnan Tuesday submitted a report to the chief electoral officer on alleged violation of the poll code by union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi during campaigning last week for the Nov 7 assembly by-poll.
Balakrishnan has also filed a complaint against Congress stalwart and Kannur MP K. Sudhakaran for threatening a government official. Sudhakaran had last Friday alleged anomalies in the voters' list.
Ravi had at a public function last week pledged to give Rs.500,000 to an educational institution for building a sports facility, while Sudhakaran had alleged that more than 10,000 voters from neighbouring constituencies were transferred to Kannur and the district administration was keeping mum on the issue.
"I have not done anything wrong. I have several cases against me, and one more is not going to be any problem as the CPM is doing everything against me," Sudhakaran said, reacting to the news that a non-bailable case has been registered against him.
The Congress has fielded A.P. Abdulla Kutty, who till early this year was a two-time Lok Sabha member of the CPM, while the Marxist party has fielded a heavy weight candidate in M.V. Jayarajan, who had won from the nearby Edakadu constituency in 1996 and 2001.
Kutty was booted out of the party ahead of the May general elections for violating party discipline.
The only time the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) has won the Kannur seat was way back in 1977.
Since 1965 in 11 elections, the CPM has fielded its own candidate only twice and on the other occasions the seat has been contested by its allies.
In 1980 when it put up O. Bharatan and again in 2006 it put up K.P. Sahadevan, the CPM candidates lost both times.
The Kannur by-election is set to see one of the most keenly contested assembly elections.
For the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM), Kannur district has been one of the strongholds for the red party.
For the CPM, Sudhakaran is their bogey man because in 2006 he completed a hat trick of victories from the Kannur assembly seat. He then rubbed the red party the wrong way by winning the Kannur Lok Sabha seat by a huge margin this year, ending the CPM's success in two earlier Lok Sabha polls.
E.P. Jayarajan, CPM central committee member, told reporters here Tuesday: "The way in which Ravi campaigned has violated poll guidelines. It is the Congress which is playing games to create issues," he alleged.