Thiruvananthapuram: Union Minister Alphons Kannanthanam Thursday failed in his maiden bid to enter the lower house of Parliament from Kerala, even as the BJP-led NDA made asweep in the Lok Sabha elections.
The Minister of State for Tourism was defeated by Congress-led UDF candidate Hibi Eden, who is also a sitting MLA, in Ernakulam constituency.
Eden won by a margin of over 1.6 lakh votes against his nearest rival P Rajeev of CPI(M).
A bureaucrat-turned-politician, Kannanthanam could finish only in the third position with around 1.37 lakh votes, way behind Eden and Rajeev who garnered over 4.91 lakhand 3.22 lakh votes respectively. Kannanthanam is a member of the Rajya Sabha.
A 1979 batch IAS officer, he had quit his high-profilecareer and plunged into electoral politics by successfully contesting from Kanjirappally in Kottayam district as a left independent candidate.
Though he was offered a second chance by the Left in the next assembly polls, Kannanthanam, in a surprise move, turned down the offer, saying he wanted to shift his activities to the national politics.
Later, Kannanthanam had joined the saffron party and went on to become a member of the national executive.