Thiruvananthapuram: Senior BJP and RSS leaders rejected on Wednesday a claim made by a Sangh Parivar veteran that BJP had struck a secret deal with CPM to deny him a ticket to contest the upcoming assembly elections.
Rejecting R Balashankar’s statement that RSS had initially supported him for Chengannur seat, RSS state unit head Gopalankutty Master said the outfit never decides election candidates. “It is BJP that decides whom it should field in elections. It is wrong to say that RSS had promised anyone help to secure a seat. There is no point in dragging RSS into this sort of controversy. I would also like to correct the media perception that Balashankar is an RSS ideologue. It is true that he served as the editor of ‘Organiser’ once. But that doesn’t make him an RSS ideologue,” Master said. He said many non-RSS men, too, had served as the editor of the magazine in the past.
But despite attempts by Sangh Parivar units to dismiss allegations that it is secretly lining up a deal with CPM, Balashankar stuck to his charges.
In a tit-for-tat response to Master, Balashankar told TV channels later on Wednesday said RSS prantha karyavahak Gopalankutty Master might have gotten out of the habit of reading Organiser as he was saying its editor doesn’t have RSS connections.
“Because of the respect for the position he holds, and for his age, I don’t want to say anything more,” he said. “It’s true that I had not met Gopalankutty Master seeking support. But I did meet other RSS leaders and they had promised all support,” he said.
Union minister V Muraleedharan said Balashankar’s allegations should be seen only as a natural outburst from someone who has been denied a ticket.
BJP state president K Surendran also denied the charges levelled by Balashankar, saying he would have managed to secure a seat if he really had the kind of influence over the party central leadership that the media claimed. “I don’t know on what basis he raised the allegations. The state leadership had only suggested candidates for each seat. The decision on who should contest in which seat was taken by the central leadership,” Surendran told reporters in Konni.
BJP national spokesperson Gopal Krishna Agarwal said Balashankar’s allegations were baseless. Agarwal said the real understanding was between LDF and UDF, and that they transfer votes to each other in order to prevent BJP from coming to power. “This time it will not happen,” he said. BJP is contesting the elections to win in all seats, it never enters into deals with parties not officially linked to the NDA, he said.
CPM acting state secretary A Vijayaraghavan, too, denied Balashankar’s allegation that CPM and BJP were engaged in a secret deal, saying the statement was “childish”. BJP had won one seat in the last assembly elections in the state, and LDF’s attempt is to ensure that even that seat is wrested back. LDF has been adopting an unwavering stand against BJP throughout the past, it is Congress that has been hobnobbing with BJP, he said.
(With inputs from Thrussur)