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Neyattinkara to go to polls June 2

Kerala,Politics, Wed, 25 Apr 2012 IANS

Thiruvananthapuram, April 24 (IANS) The Election Commission Tuesday announced June 2 as the date for the by-election to Kerala's Neyattinkara assembly constituency.


The last date for filing of nomination is May 16 and counting of votes would be on June 15.



The model code of conduct has set in the capital district with the announcement of the date.



The by-election was thrust upon the electorate after sitting CPI-M legislator R. Selvaraj quit as legislator and also from the party last month, which shocked many.



Selvaraj initially said he will not turn out as a candidate for the Congress-led United Democratic Front, but later he changed his mind.



'By tomorrow it will be known in which symbol I would be contesting. On my own I have done a few rounds of campaign and from tomorrow it would be the campaign of the UDF,' Selvaraj told reporters after the date was announced.



Neyattinkara constituency is located on the city 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, 2001 and losing it twice in 2006 and 2011.



The badly mauled CPI-M has decided to field local leader F. Lawerence, who said that the response he got was excellent.



'Our campaign has begun in full steam and we are confident that victory will be ours,' said Lawerence.



Meanwhile, the real surprise came from the Bharatiya Janata Party when it announced party veteran and former union minister O. Rajagopal as its candidate.



'Both the candidates of the LDF and UDF are those who have changed their allegiance from one party to the other so it is the right time for the electorate to decide whom they want,' said Rajagopal.


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