K Surendran to contest from Manjeshwara and Konni two assembly constituencies

6:42 PM, Sunday, March 14th, 2021
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K SurendranKasaragod : BJP state president K Surendran is contesting in two assembly constituencies – Manjeshwar, where he lost by 89 votes in 2016, and in Konni, the epicenter of Sabarimala protest. It is the first time a BJP leader is contesting from two constituencies in Kerala.

Surendran, who took a chopper to reach Manjeshwar on Sunday, said he was contesting from the two constituencies because the people of both the places inspired confidence in him and the party.

In Manjeshwar, he said, he lost by 89 votes to PB Abdul Razak “because of bogus voting and cheating by the IUML with the help of the CPM”. “It is important that the BJP reclaim Manjeshwar,” he said. To be sure, he had gone to the high court alleging bogus voting but could not prove his charge.

On Konni, Surendran said the constituency had given him a lot of emotional experience during the Sabarimala protest.

Sabarimala is an issue in this election, he said. “(Minister for Devaswom) Kadakampally Surendran said he regretted what happened in Sabarimala. It was him and the chief minister who allowed women to enter Sabarimala,” he said. “It is an election issue, whether I contest in Konni or not,” he said and added that he was contesting in the two constituencies because the people of both the places reposed faith in him.
To be sure, in the by-election held in 2019, he came third behind the LDF and the UDF candidates with 39,786 votes in Konni. The LDF’s Janeesh Kumar polled 54,099 votes.

Surendran said the BJP has brought out an “impressive list of candidates”.

The BJP has fielded luminaries from the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities in unreserved seats, the party president said. “You will find many women in our list of candidates,” he said.

The BJP has given importance to the religious minorities, he said. “We have field eight Christians and two Muslims,” he said and added that the BJP’s list of candidates was a reflection of Kerala society. “It is a serious effort. We have big hopes of forming the government,” he said.

As the party’s president, Surendran said, he would be campaigning in all the constituencies in Kerala. “In Manjeshwar and Konni, our party workers will take up the campaign. We have lakhs of party workers,” he said.

 

BJP former state president Kummanam Rajasekharan, who is also a former Governor of Mizoram, will contest from BJP’s incumbent seat in Nemom in Thiruvananthapuram, where the Congress is also planning to field a high-profile candidate. Rajasekharan came second in the nearby Vattiyoorkavu constituency in the 2016 polls.

‘Metro Man’ E Sreedharan will be fielded from Palakkad where the BJP came second in the 2016 elections. Actor-turned Rajya Sabha MP Suresh Gopi will contest from Thrissur in central Kerala. He had contested the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from Thrissur and had lost.

Other prominent persons in the list are former state president C K Padmanabhan against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at Dharmadam in Kannur, another former state president P K Krishnadas at Kattakada in Thiruvananthapuram, actor turned BJP leader Krishna Kumar in Thiruvananthapuram.

There are twelve women among the 112 candidates already announced by the party. Senior leader Sobha Surendran, who is not in good terms with the state leadership, has so far not been fielded. Candidates in a couple of key constituencies are yet to be announced. Speculations are rife that Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan will be fielded for Kazhakkoottam in Thiruvananthapuram.

                       

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