In a major embarrassment to the ruling CPM, a local television channel has claimed that party leaders had sought the help of the BJP in the just-concluded civic elections in Shornur, which is in party general secretary Prakash Karat’s home district Palakkad.
Eight councillors in Shornur Municipal Corporation had recently resigned following the sacking of municipal vice-chairman M.R. Murali, necessitating fresh elections. According to the report, the CPM district leadership sought the BJP’s help in a desperate attempt to beat the rebels.
The Malayala Manorama channel came out with a long list of calls made from and to the mobile phones of BJP state committee member N. Sivarajan, CPM Palakkad district secretary P. Unni and CPM legislator of Ottapplam, M. Hamsa to buttress its claim. Most of the calls were made a couple of days before the elections in which the CPM suffered a humiliating defeat after being in power for 28 years.
Soon after the election, Murali, a camp follower of Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan, had alleged of vote trading between the BJP and CPM. “Our allegations have been proved right. More such evidences of a BJP-CPM nexus will come out in the coming days,” Murali said. CPM MLA Hamsa has denied the charge. “Being a legislator I make and receive phone calls constantly. It’s sad that people are trying to prove something on the basis of a few phone bills,” he said.
The eight elected rebels are yet to take charge, as the municipal authorities have delayed the swearing-in ceremony.
Murali has sought the CM’s intervention.