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NDA fields BDJS chief Thushar Vellappally to take on Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad

Announcing Thushar's candidature, Amit Shah said, "A vibrant and dynamic youth leader, he represents our commitment towards development and social justice. With him, NDA will emerge as Kerala's political alternative."

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: April 1, 2019 5:37:49 pm
BDJS’ Thushar Vellappally is the NDA candidate against Congress’ Rahul Gandhi from Wayanad.

Thushar Vellappally, chief of the Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS), an ally of BJP in Kerala, will take on Congress chief Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad, BJP president Amit Shah announced on Monday.

“I proudly announce Shri Thushar Vellappally, President of Bharat Dharma Jana Sena as NDA candidate from Wayanad,” Shah tweeted.

READ | All you need to know about Wayanad constituency 

Faced with a confident Congress in the region, there was speculation that Thushar may be shifted to Wayanad from Thrissur to pose a strong challenge to the former if Gandhi chose to contest from Wayanad. The Congress has won the Wayanad seat twice since it came into existence in 2009 after the delimitation of constituencies. Hence, it is being considered a safe turf for the party.

Announcing Thushar’s candidature, Shah further said, “A vibrant and dynamic youth leader, he represents our commitment towards development and social justice. With him, NDA will emerge as Kerala’s political alternative.” Click for more election news

Thushar Vellappally is the son of Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam general secretary Vellappally Natesan. The Bharat Dharma Jana Sena was founded by Natesan in 2015. BDJS, which is fighting it’s first Lok Sabha polls in Kerala, has been allotted five seats as per the seat-sharing agreement.

Explained | Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad could have larger impact in Kerala

The NDA’s announcement comes a day after Congress declared Gandhi’s candidature from the seat in the south. Rahul is also contesting from Amethi, from where he has won thrice earlier.

Meanwhile, the main opposition, LDF has fielded CPI’s P P Suneer in the Wayanad seat this year.

Wayanad will go to polls in the third phase of the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections on April 23.

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