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EC shifts Kannur collector ahead of bypoll

October 23, 2009 14:20 IST

The Kannur collector V K Balakrishnan, who the Congress alleged had connived with the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist in the run up to the prestigious by elections for Kannur assembly constituency stands removed by the Election commission of India following a complaint filed by the Kannur MP K Sudhakaran and the district Congress committee.

The election commission has said that it has asked Chief Secretary Nila Gangadharan to constitute a panel to post a new collector to Kannur.

The CPI-M state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, who is in Delhi to attend the party's central committee meeting told  that the election commission was playing politics and had started interfering in the democratic election process. Vijayan charged the Congress leadership of using the EC for petty political gains.

The Congress leader and Member of Parliament, K Sudhakaran said that while he welcomed the removal of the district collector much more had to be done to remove the discrepancies in the new voter list constituted by the CPI-M with the support of the district collector.

The Congress has alleged that the CPI-M is trying to manipulate the elections on November 7, using the office of V K Balakrishnan, who is alleged to have a soft corner for the CPI-M. The fire brand leader of the Congress and member of loksabha K.Sudhakaran has alleged that the CPI-M had created around 9700 new voters in Kannur assembly constituency which has been traditionally retained by the Congress party. The Congress party and the leaders have also alleged that the district collector was using his official position to manipulate the electoral list.

The Kannur assembly seat fell vacant after the sitting MLA K Sudhakaran was elected to the Lok Sabha from Kannur. He had then resigned the Assembly seat .

The Congress interestingly has given the seat to former CPM MP Abdullakutty, who was expelled from the CPI-M on charges of indiscipline .This has irked the CPI-M and the party is in an all out battle to wrest the seat from the Congress to teach Abdullakutty a lesson .

Moreover the top CPI-M leaders like state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan and the state home minister and politbureau member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan hail from Kannur district.

Arun Lakshman in Thiruvananthapuram