NDA announces bypoll candidates: Kummanam Rajasekharan out, S. Suresh in Vattiyoorkavu
Thiruvananthapuram: The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday announced its candidates for the remaining five bypolls in the state.
BJP state general secretary K. Surendran will contest in Konni. Raveesha Tantri Kundar will contest in Manjeswaram. Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha state president K. P. Prakash Babu will contest in Aroor. C.G Rajagopal will contest in Ernakulam while S. Suresh will contest in Vattiyoorkavu.
The notable exception is former Mizoram governor Kummanam Rajasekharan, who was being considered to contest in Vattiyoorkavu. It was the decision not to field Kummanam Rajasekharn that opened the door for BJP Thiruvananthapuram district president S. Suresh.
During the Lok Sabha elections, Kummanam Rajasekharan had lost in Thiruvananthapuram by over one lakh votes. He failed to maintain the lead secured by O. Rajagopal earlier. Both the LDF and UDF fielding youngsters also worked against Kummanam.
There was a difference of opinion in the party regarding Kummanam Rajasekharan contesting the bypoll. On Saturday, O Rajagopal MLA had said that Kummanam Rajasekharan would contest from Vattiyoorkavu. The BJP had even started campaigning for Kummanam. However, there were reports that the district committee was directed to stop the campaign activities.
K. Surendran’s candidature in Konni comes on the back of his strong show in Pathanamthitta during the LS polls. Less than 3,000 votes separated UDF and BJP in Konni constituency during the LS polls. Moreover, LDF and BJP were separated by just 440 votes. This prompted the BJP to field Surendran in Konni.
In Aroor, BJP took over the seat after its ally Bharath Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS) headed by Thushar Vellapally decided not to contest. Yuva Morcha state president K. P. Prakash Babu, who contested from Kozhikode in the LS polls, will seek the mandate from Aroor.
Besides Prakash Babu, K. Surendran and Raveesha Tantri Kundar had contested the LS poll. With the absence of Kummanam Rajasekharan, Konni constituency will be under the spotlight now.