Congress leaders have vehemently opposed the CPM charge that the party has entered into a secret deal with the BJP in five seats. Former chief minister and AICC general secretary Oommen Chandy said such an allegation was nothing but an admission of defeat by the CPM.
KPCC chief Mullappally Ramachandran called it the CPM's “Goebbelsian ploy”. Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said it was an attempt to divert attention from the real BJP-CPM deal.
“This time Congress has lined up very strong candidates for the elections. This has caused them to panic and utter such baseless things,” Chandy said. He also said the delay in candidate finalisation would not affect the outcome of the elections. “There were no internal squabbles as was reported in the media. The delay was natural,” Chandy said. Chandy also asked how the Congress workers could cross vote in a constituency where Shashi Tharoor is contesting.
CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan had on March 20 said the BJP would support the Congress in five constituencies in return for Congress help in Thiruvananthapuram. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also said the LDF would defeat the “coleebee” alliance, short for Congress-League-BJP alliance.
The five constituencies Kodiyeri mentioned were Kollam, Ernakulam, Kozhikode, Vadakara and Kannur. The CPM leader said the BJP had picked weak candidates for these five constituencies. “The BJP is doing this to ensure the victory of Kummanam in Thiruvananthapuram,” Kodiyeri had said. The CPM state secretary also alleged that it was with Congress support that the BJP won in Nemom in 2016.
Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said the secret pact was struck by the CPM and the BJP. “Kodiyeri was actually taking anticipatory bail,” Chennithala said. “The truth is, the secret deal has been struck by the CPM and the BJP. Both the CPM and the BJP wants to bring down the Congress. Both these parties are bound together by the principle 'an enemy's enemy is a friend',” Chennithala said.
KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran, too, refuted the CPM charge. He called it a Goebbelsian technique employed to the CPM to mask the truth. “It was the CPM that had always struck secret election deals with the BJP. It was with the support of the BJP that Pinarayi Vijayan won in Koothuparamba in 1977 by a slender margin. In return, even stalwarts like E M S Namboodirippad campaigned for the BJP leader K G Marar in Uduma. After Indira Gandhi lost the polls in 1977, we had witnessed how CPM leaders like E M S and Harkishan Singh Surjeet cosied up to BJP leaders like A B Vajpayee,” Mullappally said.