<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP in Kerala alleged on Tuesday that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has violated the oath of office by “ordering” the release of an activist who was taken into custody for his suspected Maoist links. Party state president Kummanam Rajasekharan said Vijayan had “directed” the police to release Nadeer Gul Mohammed, who was taken into custody in Kozhikode on Monday.It was for the police to confirm whether the detained person has any connection with the radical outfit, he said in Thiruvananthapuram in a statement. “The direction given by Chief Minister to release the person taken into custody in connection with Maoist link was violation of the oath of office,” he said. Referring to the criticism of CPI (M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and Marxist veteran VS Achutanandan against the police action, he said Left leaders were “trying to sabotage the investigation by putting pressure on police.” Releasing a person without proving him innocent was amounted to bypassing the judiciary itself, he said.Joining the issue, KPCC president VM Sudheeran wanted Vijayan to demit the home portfolio as he has “lost moral right to continue.” The ruling CPI(M)’s “intervention in police force for political purposes has resulted in home department losing control over it, he said.”Taking a dig at Vijayan, he said even veteran CPI(M) leaders like VS Achutanandan and Kodiyeri Balakrishnan were forced to denounce the police actions. He also pointed out that CPI, a key partner in LDF, had also came down against state police.A day after taking into custody for his suspected Maoist links, Nadeer Gul Mohammed was let off by police on Monday saying there was no evidence against.
CPI(M), heading the ruling LDF in Kerala, on Sunday said the post to be offered to its veteran leader VS Achutanandan would be decided by the party and no one need to be worried. “The party will decide. On this issue, none need be worried”, CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, told reporters here. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had on June 9 said that the post to be given to 92-year-old Achutanandan, a former chief minister, has not been thought of now. He had responded to a reporter’s query amid reports that Achuthanandan would be given a post with a cabinet rank. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury had said in Delhi after a two-day Politburo meeting that it was for the state government to take a decision on the matter. Achuthanandan had in a Facebook post early this month said that he had not asked for any position.The Marxist veteran, who was overlooked by the party for the chief minister’s post citing his advanced age, had said he would continue to play the role of a “sentinel” and protect the interest of the people.
Kerala Chief Minister- designate Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday met CPI(M)’s senior most leader 92-year-old V S Achuthanandan and spent some time with him.Vijayan, accompanied by party state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, met Achuthanandan, the Leader of the Opposition in the outgoing Kerala Assembly, at his official residence at Cantonment House and informed him that the LDF ministry would be sworn in on May 25 and invited him for the same.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Achuthanandan is understood to have told him that immediate efforts should be made to curtail the price rise of essential commodities and the new government should initiate steps for safety of women in the wake of the brutal murder of a Dalit law student in Perumbavoor.The meeting, which came ahead of the proposed press meeting Achuthanandan had called at 11 AM, assumes importance amid reports that the nonagenarian, LDF’s main campaigner in the May 16 assembly polls, was reportedly unhappy at not being anointed as Chief Minister.In a bid to scuttle such reports, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury has yesterday met the press flanked by Achutanandan and Balakrishnan.The party, in an attempt to placate Achutanandan, had yesterday compared him with Fidel Castro and had said he will continue to guide and inspire the front.Political commentator N M Pearson said Achuthanandan is Pinarayi Vijayan’s mentor and there is need to see the visit as the chief minister-designate seeking blessings from his mentor.Vijayan also called on outgoing Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.
Counting of votes in the high-stakes Assembly elections in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Kerala and Puducherry will be taken up on Thursday morning and the first trends are expected to be available after an hour. By 12 noon, a clear picture could emerge on the winners.Election Commission officials said counting of votes, which will commence at 8 AM, will be over by 3 PM.According to various exit polls shown on TV channels on May 16, Assam, Tamil Nadu and Kerala appeared to have voted for change giving BJP its first government in the northeastern state dislodging Congress which may also lose Kerala. DMK has been tipped to regain power trouncing AIADMK in Tamil Nadu.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Only West Bengal seems to have bucked the trend in exit polls by re-electing Trinamool Congress led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who managed to hold on to power by defeating the Left-Congress alliance convincingly for a second consecutive term.The Congress could take solace from its projected victory in the tiny Union Territory of Puducherry where it is likely to get power in alliance with the DMK. The counting of votes will decide the fate of approximately 8,300 candidates including chief minister Tarun Gogoi in Assam and CM contender BJP’s Sarbananda Sonowal and Himanta Biswas, chief minister Jayalalithaa and Karunandhi in Tamil Nadu, chief minister Oommen Chandy, CPI(M) leaders V S Achutanandan and Pinarayi Vijayan in Kerala, chief minister Mamata Banerjee and CPI(M) Suryakanta Mishra in West Bengal and chief Minister M Rangaswamy in Puducherry.According to Election Commission guidelines, half-an-hour after the postal ballots are counted, the process of counting votes from the EVMs begins. The ‘ballot unit’ is switched on in the presence of senior poll officials and counting agents of candidates and the result command keyed in to get results per machine.Where a paper trail audit or ‘voter-verified paper audit trail’ (VVPAT) has been used, the counting agent can call for a count of the paper slips in the drop box attached to the voting machine, but a final count is taken by the returning officer.Once the results are declared, the names of the winning candidates will find mention in the gazette. The gazette notification will initiate the process to form the next legislative assemblies in the states.
Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Monday expressed confidence that the Cong-led UDF would ride back to power, while CPI(M) Polit Bureau Member and Left Front’s chief ministerial aspirant Pinarayi Vijayan claimed there was an “LDF wave” in the state.The two leaders were among the early voters in the state. Leader of the opposition in the assembly VS Achutanandan, who is contesting from Malampuzha in Palakkad district, visited various booths in his constituency this morning. “We are expecting good results.” he said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chandy offered prayers at a local church at his home town and constituency – Puthupally in Kottayam district – and lit oil lamps early this morning before casting his franchise. Later talking to reporters, Chandy refused to predict the number of seats the Front would win. “I am not predicting the number of seats we will win, but UDF will get good majority. There was lot of enthusiasm everywhere for UDF,” he said.”If there is a continuation of UDF government, it is due to the result of the unity among its partners. If there is a setback, I am responsible for it as the Front Chairman,” the Chief Minister said. The BJP’s performance will be “dismal”, he said. Vijayan, who cast his vote at Pinarayi in Kannur district, said for a prosperous ‘Nava Kerala’ (New Kerala), LDF will come to power.With this election, the UDF will be “thrown out due to its anti-people policies and corruption” and communal forces will be “alienated”, he said after voting along with his family members.The incidents like the brutal murder of a dalit law student should not recur in the state, he said.Urging the young, old and new voters to cast their franchise, he said this was an important election and everyone should exercise their right. CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, who stood for nearly an hour in a queue in a booth at Thalassery to cast vote, said this election will see the end of corruption and communalism. BJP state President Kummanam Rajasekharan, who cast his vote, said he was optimistic of the saffron party opening its account in the state.
Stoking a controversy, Union Home minister Rajnath Singh on Friday alleged that the Congress-led UDF government in Kerala was trying to “cover up” the brutal rape and murder of a Dalit law student even as the Centre expressed willingness to order a CBI probe into the incident.”The rape and murder indicate that the Kerala government was trying to cover up the incident as it took days to register the case,” Singh, who is on a two-day visit to the state for campaigning in the May 16 assembly polls, said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Addressing a series of election rallies in the state, Singh said there should be a CBI probe into the case. “There should be a CBI probe into the case,” he said, adding that the Centre was ready to order a CBI probe on the state’s recommendation.The shocking case is being described as “Kerala’s Nirbhaya” for the chilling similarity to the Delhi rape case of 2012.”CBI probe should be held into the murder. As this country’s Home Minister, I assure you that as soon as we get a recommendation (in this regard) from the state government, we are prepared to conduct CBI probe,” the minister said at Chathanoor in Kollam district. “I assure you that the guilty shall be punished,” he said.The remarks assume significance with the probe by Kerala police not making much headway even days after the incident.The Dalit woman, who hailed from a poor family, was allegedly subjected to rape and brutal assault using sharp edged weapons before being murdered at her house at nearby Perumbavoor in Ernakulam district on April 28.The incident had its echo in Parliament with members demanding “exemplary punishment” for the culprits, besides triggering widespread protests across the state.Singh also flayed CPI(M) veteran V S Achutanandan for not disclosing the name of the VIP in the sensational Killiroor and Kaviyoor sex scandals as “assured” by him and said his credibility in Kerala politics had come to an end as he failed to keep his promise.The two sex scandals had rocked the state in 2003 after young girls were sexually abused on the pretext of giving them roles in television serials. There were allegations that some influential persons were involved in the two cases.At another meeting, Singh said, “UDF and LDF have treated the people of the state like a football, kicking them around for political gains”.
CPI-M’s state secretariat is understood to have accepted the recommendation of the party’s central leadership to field marxist veteran VS Achuthanandan and politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan in the May 16 assembly polls from the state, party sources said.The central leadership has recommended fielding both the leaders for the assembly polls and the state secretariat, which met here for the second day, is understood to have accepted the recommendation, the sources said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>93-year-old Achutanandan had represented Malampzuha constituency in Palakkad district three times– 2001, 2006 and 2011. Pinarayi Vijayan’s name was recommended by the party’s Kannur district unit, the sources said.Besides Vijayan, five other state Secretariat members- Thomas Issac, A K Balan, E P Jayarajan, T P Ramakrishnan and M M Mani, will be contesting the polls.After the two-day Secretariat meeting, the state committee will be held here tomorrow after which a final picture on the candidates is likely to emerge. CPI-M General secretary, Sitaram Yechury, senior leaders and politburo members Prakash Karat and S Ramachandran Pillai are among those attending the meeting.A three-day crucial meeting of the CPI(M) had commenced here yesterday to discuss various poll strategies, including whether or not to field Achuthanandan in the assembly polls. Party state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan had earlier stated that the party list will be released by March 20 along with that of other LDF partners.