PATHANAMTHITTA: The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has virtually increased its tally in the Kerala Assembly to two after PC George-led Kerala Janapaksham party joined the BJP-led front on Wednesday, a move the saffron party hopes will swing crucial votes in its favour in the Christian-dominated central Kerala, especially Pathanamthitta.
George made the announcement, which has come less than a fortnight before the Lok Sabha elections, at a news conference at the Pathanamthitta Press Club, in the presence of BJP national secretary Y Satya Kumar and state president PS Sreedharan Pillai.
George said Narendra Modi Government’s welfare measures for the poor and his confidence that the NDA policies including the proposed Rubber Act would benefit the state’s farmers influenced his decision.
One who often comes up with controversial remarks, the six-time MLA from Poonjar constituency said he was also attracted to the NDA after the Modi Government decided to include rubber in the list of agriculture crops and exclude settlement areas from the Kasturirangan report.
Pathanamthitta: George, who banks on the vote base comprising the Christian settlers in Kottayam-Pathanamthitta-Idukki belt, said he had also opposed the Church Bill, proposed by the state government. The 67-year-old said he expects the NDA to win four seats - Pathanamthitta, Thiruvananthapuram, Kottayam and Thrissur - in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. George said NDA candidate K Surendran would win in Pathanamthitta with a majority of 50,000 votes while in Kottayam despite the sympathy wave following Kerala Congress chairman K M Mani’s demise, the NDA would win ultimately. George said the LDF would lose deposit money in T’Puramm. Pillai said: “With George’s entry into the NDA, K Surendran’s victory has become just a formality.” Poonjar falls under the Pathanamthitta LS constituency.