Expressing amusement at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) choice of candidate for contesting in the upcoming Kerala Assembly elections from Thiruvananthapuram, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Saturday said that the party has given up and already conceded defeat on that seat by fielding cricketer S Sreesanth.
“I think this is quite amusing because it suggests that the BJP has already given up any hope of that seat. Let’s face it… Thiruvanathapuram is a place where you have an educated electorate. Kerala generally has not been a hospitable ground for celebrity candidates, sportsmen, actors. But particularly a place in Trivandrum central, which is the constituency; there are a lot of educated people, government officials, bureaucrats and so on,” Tharoor said.
Adding that Sreesanth will be running against Congress leader and state Health Minister VS Sivakumar, Tharoor added that Health has been one of the great successes of the Chandy government.
“I think by not putting up a more credible candidate, the BJP is essentially saying ‘we give up the seat to Congress’ and obviously, that’s good news for us!” he said.
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Earlier in the day, Sreesanth said that Kerala needs development and urged the youth to strive for change.
“The states ruled by BJP are doing well. BJP has been very supportive towards me also.There hasn’t been much change in Kerala. There has been development but not huge development, youngsters should come forward and start a change,” he said.
Sreesanth was inducted in the party in presence of Union Health Minister JP Nadda and senior BJP leader Srikant Sharma besides others. Tamil Nadu BJP chief Tamilisai Soundararajan and BJP leader Kummanam Rajasekharan were also present on the occasion.
The BJP would be hoping to make inroads is a state which has been predominantly ruled by traditional rivals Congress-led UDF or CPM-led LDF governments.
In Kerala, voting for 140 assembly seats would be held in a single phase on May16.