Thiruvananthapuram: Aam Aadmi Party has extended unconditional support to LDF candidates in Kerala in the Lok Sabha polls. The announ-cement was made at a joint press conference attended by AAP central leader Somnath Bharati and CPM politburo member Nilotpal Basu in Delhi. The AAP suspended state convenor C.R. Neelakantan from the party for unilaterally delaring support to UDF in 12 seats.
It may be recalled that CPM had supported AAP in Assembly elections in Delhi and Chief Minister Pinaryi Vijayan had gone to Delhi to express solidarity with his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kej-riwal who was on a dharna against the Centre and LG.
Somnath Bharti said Neelakantan held a press conference in Kerala re-cently and declared that AAP would support Con-gress candidates in the state. “The press conference was unauthorized. The AAP political affairs committee has condemned his move and decided to suspend him from the primary membership of the party,” he said.
Meanwhile, Neelakan-tan told DC that he approved of party’s decision as the national leadership has the right to take disciplinary action. “The party’s policy is to ensure defeat of NDA candidates in all constituencies. The party decided to extend support to those candidates who could defeat the NDA nominees based on the reports received from from district committees. Had the national leadership announced the decision to support the LDF earlier, the state unit would not have had any hesitation in accepting it,” he said.
However, he added that the last minute decision of the national leadership would create confusion among party workers and it will not do any good to the party. “I think it is due to the pressure of CPM leadership that the AAP has announced a stand favouring the LDF,” he said.
CPM politburo member Nilotpal Basu thanked the AAP for extending support to LDF. “Our main aim is to remove the NDA and stop the communal polarisation being triggered by the Sangh Parivar. We thank the AAP for supporting us,” he said.
Two days ago the state unit of AAP had declared that it will support UDF in 11 lok sabha constiutencies and back LDF in Malappuram. Neelakan-dan declared support for UDF in Kasargod, Kann-ur, Wayanad, Kozhikode, Ponnani, Palakkad, Alat-hur, Thrissur, Chalakudy, Ernakulam and Idukki.
It may be recalled that in 2014 Lok Sabha polls AAP candidates Anita Pratap secured 51,517 votes in Ernakulam, Sarah Joseph secured 44,368 in Thrissur and Ajit Joy 14,153 votes in Thiruvananthapuram.