The BJP on Sunday decided to field all senior leaders of the party for the Assembly elections in Kerala. The party announced candidates for 22 out of 140 constituencies even as discussions on seat sharing with NDA ally Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS) are yet to be over.
While BJP state President Kummanam Rajasekharan will be making his electoral debut from Vattiyoorkavu in Thiruvananthapuram, former Union minister O Rajagopal will try his luck from Nemom constituency in Thiruvananthapuram district, where he had finished second in the last Assembly elections.
Some of the other names which figure in the list are: K Surendran (Manjeshwaram), Shobha Surendran (Palakkad), C K Padmanabhan (Kunnamangalam), P K Sureedharan Pillai (Chengannur), M T Ramesh (Aranmula), V Muralidharan (Kazhakootam) and P K Krishnadas (Kattakada).
Rajagopal has never won any elections, but has been BJP’s trump card in all recent contests, including last year’s by-election in Aruvikkara assembly constituency.
Aiming to make its presence felt in the bi-polar polity of Kerala, the BJP had sewed by an alliance with the Bharath Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS), a new party formed by Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam, a powerful organisation of backward Ezhava community, led by its General Secretary Vellappally Natesan.
The party, which has already begun seat sharing talks with BDJS, will again hold discussions on March 15, before giving a final shape to the candidates list.
Rajasekharan told reporters that on March 16, the state leaders will be leaving for Delhi for getting the clearance of the central election committee for its candidates list.
BJP, which has not yet won a single seat either to Parliament or the state assembly from Kerala, is hoping to give a tough fight to the two fronts– ruling Congress-led UDF and LDF spearheaded by CPI-M, which have ruled the state alternatively.
(With inputs from PTI)