In the Neyyattinkara By ElectionThe UDF candidate R Selvaraj won by 6023 votes.
R Selvaraj (UDF) : 51506 Votes
F Lawrence (LDF) : 45178 Votes
O Rajagopal (BJP) : 30109 Votes
O Rajagopal – The NSS, outfit of Hindu Nairs, has already taken a pledge to teach the UDF a lesson for being biased in favour of the minorities as seen in the case of the allotment of a fifth Cabinet berth to the Muslim League. The BJP hopes that a good percentage of Nair votes, a major force in Neyyattinkara, to go to Rajagopal. In an indirect but open declaration of support to Rajagopal, Vellappally Natesan, general secretary of the SNDP, forum of Hindu Ezhavas, said the other day that nobody should be surprised if the BJP candidate made history in Neyyattinkara by winning the by-poll. Like Nairs, Ezhavas also are a big force in the constituency.
However, independent observers say that it is a bit “greedy” on the part of the BJP to expect victory for its candidate in Neyyattinkara but they agree with the argument that there is a strong chance that Rajagopal emerge as the first runner-up. Even that will be a huge achievement as far as the BJP is concerned, they say.
F Lawrence has been chosen as the LDF candidate for the forthcoming Neyyattinkara bypoll elections. The LDF, which has made Selvaraj’s “treason” as the main weapon against Selvaraj, has fielded F Lawrence, a former activist of the Kerala Congress (J), which in 2010 merged with UDF ally Kerala Congress (M). It will be F Lawrence versus R Selvaraj in Neyyattinkara. Lawrence, a member of the Parassala block panchayat.
The LDF, for which the by-poll is a question of prestige, is facing multiple problems in Neyyattinkara. The first hurdle Lawrence faces in the by-poll is the popularity of Selvaraj, an influential leader of the Nadar community, which constitutes almost half the electorate. In Lawrence’s case also, his biggest qualification to be candidate is perhaps his Nadar background.