All nominations in; poll fever grips Chengannur by-election
Alappuzha: The returning officer on Friday accepted the nomination papers of LDF candidate Saji Cheriyan for the Chengannur by-election rejecting the allegations raised against him by the rival fronts. An independent candidate, A.K Shaji, had filed a counter-affidavit during the scrutiny of nomination papers held at the RDO’s office demanding to reject Mr Cheriyan’s nomination as he had allegedly covered up the details of his asserts.
BJP leader M.T. Ramesh sought a probe by the enforcement directorate into the alleged benami property worth Rs 1.25 core amassed by the LDF candidate under the aegis of Alleppey Rehabilitation and Palliative Care (ARPC). He claimed the land was registered in the names of Saji Cheriyan and CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakishnan. Mr Ramesh said that Mr Cheriyan claimed that the land was registered under Karuna Palliative Care unit works under him in Chengannur constituency.
“Funds were collected within two months in the name of ARPC formed in 2016. The CPM has to reveal the role of Kodiyeri behind the deal,” Mr Ramesh said. He also alleged that the retuning officer was acting in a biased manner despite clear evidence of cover-up by Mr Cheriyan. “We have registered a complaint with the central observer against the retuning officer,” he added. Mr Cheriyan rejected the allegations and said “if the charges are proved, I will quit public life.” The nominations of all the candidates were accepted by the returning officer after scrutiny.