With less than two weeks for Kerala to go to polls, MLA PC George’s Kerala Janapaksham party has joined the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). Kerala BJP State President PS Sreedharan Pillai and PC George made the announcement on Wednesday in Pathanamthitta Press Club. A few members of the Kerala Congress (Secular) were also present. BJP National Secretary Sathya Kumar was also present.
"Why I have decided to cooperate with Modiji is because of the work done by the PM for the people of Kerala. For example, the assistance for rubber farmers. The demand had been a long pending one and we consistently fought to declare it as a cash crop. In NDA's draft of Rubber Act, rubber has been declared as cash crop. He has been taking stern action in farmers’ issues. I also hope there will be a favourable decision to enhance the price of rubber from Rs 150 per kg to Rs 200. Also for the minority community the BJP leadership has given assurance that their interests will be protected," he said.
George expressed confidence that the BJP will win in Pathanamathitta and Thiruvananthapuram.
“During this elections we have reached a position to secure several seats. Janapaksham has been intervening actively in the problems related to the people. We will move ahead in Kerala politics cooperating with each other. Janapaksham from now onward has become part of the NDA," said Sreedharan Pillai.
"In Pathanamthitta the chances of BJP’s victory is high. PC George is a lone fighter who won the last Assembly elections as an independent candidate. He is part of the Pathanamthitta constituency. The victory of NDA candidate K Surendran in Pathanamthitta has become 100% sure with George joining NDA," Pillai said.
Incidentally, George had earlier said that he will be contesting the Lok Sabha election from Pathanamthitta, but soon retracted the statement. Since then, rumours of Kerala Janapaksham joining the NDA had surfaced. George had grabbed national headlines last year when he made vile comments against the survivor nun who had approached the police against Bishop Franco.
The lone Independent member in the Kerala Assembly, PC George floated his party Kerala Janapaksham (People’s Movement) on February 21, 2017. According to George, Kerala Janapaksham had the support of 36 organisations working for the welfare of SC and ST communities, Nadar outfit Viaikunta Swami Dharma Pracharanasabha (VSDP) and Dalit Human Rights Movement (DHRM).
PC George is the six-time sitting MLA of the Poonjar constituency in Kottayam district. The Poonjar constituency has been his home turf since he won the state elections in 1980.
After he was removed from late leader KM Mani’s Kerala Congress (M) party of the UDF government, George contested as an independent and won from the Poonjar constituency in 2016.
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On March 30, PC George had announced his support for BJP’s Pathanamthitta Lok Sabha candidate K Surendran, although they had not decided whom to support in other constituencies.
The Poonjar assembly constituency comes under Pathanamthitta Lok Sabha constituency and garnering PC George and his party’s support is likely to increase NDA’s vote share in Pathanamthitta.
Poonjar has over 1.6 lakh voters. Irrespective of the political party or fronts he had aligned with previously, both PC George and his party have always managed to win over a majority of the electorate of the Poonjar Legislative constituency. George has won six out of seven times that he has contested in.
Although PC George won the Poonjar constituency in the 2016 assembly election, four of the seven assembly segments in Pathanamthitta were won by the Left.
This is not the first time PC George has supported the BJP, although the party has criticised him on several occasions for his controversial remarks.
In November 2018, George had announced that he will co-operate with the BJP in Kerala at the state level, particularly in the Legislative Assembly. He had then hinted of an understanding between the two parties. The BJP also confirmed this then.
PC George later said that the BJP planned to give him a platform to speak in the Assembly, “unlike the Congress that did not give him even two minutes to speak”. He had also said that he had been in talks with Kerala BJP’s lone MLA O Rajagopal for three years on a prospective alignment with the BJP.
When it comes to the issue of women entry into the Sabarimala temple, which is situated in Pathanamthitta district, George had maintained that BJP was the only strongest party in terms of its views on the issue. In fact, in November last year, George and Rajagopal reached the Legislative Assembly dressed in the black attire, like an Ayyappa devotee.
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