The Bhartiya Janta Party announced its list of candidates for Kerala on Thursday. The list revealed former Mizoram Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan to be contesting against senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor in Thiruvananthapuram.
Earlier this month Rajasekharan had resigned from the post of Governor in a shocking move which rose speculations he will be BJP’s candidate against Tharoor. His tenure as Mizoram Governor lasted less than 10 months and the appointment had shocked many as it was just a couple of days before the crucial by-election in Chengannur.
Shashi Tharoor was previously the Minister of State for External Affairs and Human Resource Development. He has won the 2009 elections with a margin of about one lakh votes and the 2014 elections with roughly 16,000 votes.
When Tharoor decided to contest the elections from Thiruvananthapuram, the saffron party had a huge challenge against it to pick a capable candidate who could fight against Tharoor.
Now with Rajasekharan contesting from Thiruvananthapuram constituency, there will now be a three-way fight between Tharoor, Rajasekharan and former minister C Divakaran of the CPI.
The BJP will be contesting from 13 seats in Kerala – Kasargode, Kannur, Vadakara, Kochikode, Malappuram, Ponnani, Palakkad, Chalakudy, Ernakulam, Alapuzzha, Kollam, Attingal and Thiruvananthapuram. It will be soon announcing their candidate for Pathanamthitta.
The seat-sharing was announced on Monday by BJP general secretary Muralidhar Rao.
KS Radhakrishnan, who officially joined BJP on Sunday, will be contesting from Alappuzha while Sobha Surendran, who secured 1.2 lakh votes in 2014, will contest from Attingal.
A few other candidates include AN Radhakrishnan from Chalakudy, Raveesh Thantri Kuntar from Kasargode, KP Prakash Babu from Kozhikode, Unnikrishnan Master from Malappuram, and VT Rema from Ponnani.