BJP rejects Balashankar's charge of secret deal with CPI(M) in some constituencies in Kerala

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Thiruvananthapuram, Mar 17 (PTI) Union Minister V Muraleedharan on Wednesday dismissed the allegation made by BJP leader R Balashankar on a deal between the CPI(M) and the saffron party in some constituencies in the April 6 assembly polls, as an emotional outburst of a person disappointed over denial of a seat.

The candidates were decided by the central election committee, Muraleedharan told reporters in Delhi.

Balashankar is not a person who is against the BJP.

His statement comes after the seats were allocated.

And seems like he was upset. The seat allocation was not my own decision, he said.

'There is a process by which the seats are decided. The central election committee of the party, which includes Prime Minister, Party Chief, Home minister and the Defence minister decides it.

The state leadership is also part of the decision but the committee is the decision maker', the minister added.

Balashankar, working with the BJP's national training department, had alleged that he was denied the Chengannur seat in Alappuzha district as part of a deal between the CPI(M) and the saffron party.

Attacking the party's state leadership on Tuesday, Balashankar had said he had a very good chance of winning the seat, but was not considered.

The BJP had instead fielded a person, who is a political non-entity, damaging its chanceto win the seat.

CPI(M)'s Saji Cherian is the LDF candidate in Chengannur, while BJP has put up A V Gopakumar.

Meanwhile, State BJP president K Surendran dismissed the allegation as 'baseless', while O Rajagopal, the lone party MLA in the assembly, said there is no such understanding with either the CPI(M) or the Congress.

In his reaction, Senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala said, 'we cannot trivialise or dismiss the allegatonsas an emotional outburst. This has been going on for some time in Kerala'.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and BJP state president, K Surendran should make it clear in how many places such an understanding has been reached, the Leader of Opposition told reporters here.

Balashankar had also stated that the state leadership seemed not interested in winning the election because in the constituencies where the BJP has a winning chance, weak candidates have been fielded.

Vijayan had laughed off the allegation and said in the 2019 assembly bypoll the Left had defeated K Surendran at Konni.

CPI(M) state secretary A Vijayaraghavan said the seats mentioned by Balashankar are sitting seats of the marxist party.

'We defeated Sreedharan Pillai in Chengannur, and K Surendran in Konni. We have already made our stand clear that we are against the Sangh Parivar', he said. PTI UD ROH ROH