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Kerala Assembly elections | Minister Balan complains to EC against Chennithala, Sukumaran Nair

Minister A.K. Balan accused the UDF and the BJP of misusing the election in the name of faith and religion

Minister for the Welfare of Backward and Scheduled Communities A.K. Balan raised a complaint with the Election Commission of India (ECI) against Nair Service Society (NSS) general secretary G. Sukumaran Nair and Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala for their alleged attempts to describe the election as a “fight between the faithful and non-believers”.

In his complaint addressed to the State’s Chief Election Officer, Mr. Balan accused the United Democratic Front (UDF) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of misusing the election in the name of faith and religion. “Kerala’s electoral history never witnessed such a grave and dangerous situation,” said Mr. Balan.

Referring to Mr. Sukumar Nair’s comments that Ayyappa devotees had been bitter about the Sabarimala events that took place in the wake of the Supreme Court order permitting entry for women of all age into the temple, Mr. Balan said in Palakkad on Tuesday that the NSS leader was deliberately trying to portray the election as a battle between the believers and non-believers.

Mr. Balan also complained against Mr. Chennithala for his remarks that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan would have to face Lord Ayyappa’s wrath. “Those statements are against the Constitution, and completely in violation of the country’s democratic values,” Mr. Balan said. Seeking the Election Commission’s immediate intervention, Mr. Balan said that Mr. Chennithala and Mr. Nair were deliberately trying to misuse the people’s faith on the election day as they both foresaw a complete electoral rout.

Mr. Balan demanded action against those spreading such messages, and also a ban on the mass media from publishing and broadcasting those messages.

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