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Congress to field ex-CPI-M legislator in Kerala by-poll

Thiruvananthapuram,Politics, Wed, 25 Apr 2012 IANS

Thiruvananthapuram, April 25 (IANS) R. Selvaraj, a two-time Kerala CPI-M legislator who quit the party last month, will contest the June 2 by-election to the Neyattinkara assembly constituency as a Congress candidate.


Announcing this at a public meeting in Neyattinkara Wednesday evening, state Congress president Ramesh Chennithala handed over the party membership to the former CPI-M legislator.


"Selvaraj is lucky because he did not have to undergo any humiliation as he resigned from the party when he found out that the CPI-M was on the wrong track. The Congress party is one that will come to the help of anyone in distress and we have decided to accept him into our party and he will contest under our symbol," said Chennithala.


In the 2011 assembly polls, Selvaraj won as a CPI-M candidate from the Neyattinkara constituency and in the 2006 polls, he won from the nearby Parassala constituency.


Selvaraj initially said he would not contest as a candidate for the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF), but later he changed his mind.


Neyattinkara constituency is located on Thiruvananthapuram's outskirts, on the Tamil Nadu border. It has a good number of voters from the Nadar community which includes both, Christians and Hindus.


It was a traditional Congress seat with legislator Thamapanoor Ravi winning from here three times in 1991, 1996 and 2001 and losing it twice in 2006 and 2011.


CPI-M has decided to field local leader F. lawerence and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will field veteran former union minister O. Rajagopal to make it a keenly contested triangular fight.


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