Kerala HC fails to give relief to 3 NDA candidates

The Kerala High Court on Monday refused to intervene in the decision of the Election Commission which rejected the nomination papers of two BJP candidates and one from its ally — the AIADMK.

It was on Saturday during the scrutiny of nominations filed for the Assembly polls in the state to be held on April 6 that EC officials declared the nominations of BJP candidates N. Haridas from Thalassery and Nividetha from Guruvayoor, and the AIADMK candidate R.M. Dhanalakshmy as invalid.

These candidates then moved an urgent petition and the court took it up on Sunday and said it will look into the matter on Monday.

In the court on Monday, the EC counsel pointed out that once the election process has started it would not be in the fairness of things for the court to intervene. This was accepted by the court, which said that the petitioners can approach the court once the election process is over.

Reacting to the verdict, Haridas said, “What has happened is most unfortunate and we will continue to seek redressal in a higher court of law.”

This is going to be a huge setback in general for the BJP and for Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan in particular, as he hails from Thalassery.

Nividetha said she was waiting for the details of the verdict before taking the next step.

Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said it was strange that a party like the BJP which claims to provide good governance is unable to even fill a nomination form properly.

Consequent to the emerging situation after the verdict, these three constituencies will now see a direct contest between the ruling Left and the Congress-led front.

It has come as a shock to the saffron party as Union Home Minister Amit Shah was scheduled to campaign in Thalassery.

In the 2016 Assembly elections, the BJP secured the maximum of 22,125 votes from Kannur district.

Guruvayoor constituency’s BJP candidate Nividetha’s nomination papers were found invalid after the State BJP president K. Surendran’s signature was found to be missing. In the 2016 Assembly polls, the BJP candidate had secured 25,490 votes.

The third constituency where the nomination papers were found invalid was Devikulam in Idukki district and here it was the ally of the BJP — AIADMK candidate R.M. Dhanalakshmy — who finished third in the 2016 polls and bagged 11,613 votes.

In 2016, the AIADMK was not an ally of the BJP, but this time it is part of the NDA and is expecting to do well, as the constituency has a huge number of estate workers, who hail from Tamil Nadu.