THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The BJP has accused the CPM of colluding with the State Election Commission officials to defeat candidates of the saffron party in the coming local body polls. BJP state chief K Surendran said the CPM was forcing officials of the poll panel to carry out the malpractice in allotment of election symbol. As a mark of protest, BJP workers and candidates of the saffron party in Thiruvananthapuram corporation took out a march to the State Election Commission headquarters here demanding an end to the alleged malpractice..
According to the BJP leaders, independent candidates with names similar to BJP candidates were fielded in large numbers by rival parties. Besides, the election symbol ‘rose’ which looks similar to the BJP’s ‘lotus’ symbol, was being allotted to the namesake candidates to confuse the voters, the BJP leaders alleged.
Due to similarity in name, the namesake candidates with rose symbol will feature near the names of the BJP candidate on the EVMs as the candidate setting is done in alphabetical order. BJP leaders said this was being deliberately done to confuse voters and hamper the prospects of candidates fielded by the party. According to leaders of the saffron party, such malpractices were detected at least in seven wards of Thiruvananthapuram corporation. They also alleged the BJP candidate in Aryanad district panchayat was denied the party symbol by officials.