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3-time Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrasekhar makes electoral debut, Suresh Gopi in Thrissur

The party has pinned high hopes from the three seats, especially Thrissur as it looks to open its account in the state.
Last Updated 02 March 2024, 23:34 IST

Thiruvananthapuram: The BJP released its first list of 195 candidates for the Lok Sabha on Saturday. In Kerala, the party has announced candidates for 12 out of the 20 Lok Sabha seats.

The most notable candidates are Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar from Thiruvananthapuram, Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan from Attingal and Suresh Gopi from Thrissur.

The party has pinned high hopes from the three seats, especially Thrissur as it looks to open its account in the state.

In his first Lok Sabha election, Minister of State for Information Technology and Skill Development Rajeev Chandrasekhar will likely go up against senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, who has held the seat for three straight terms.

BJP is hoping that Chandrasekhar can woo the youngsters, especially the IT employees, given his technocrat profile.

With concerns within the party over a lack of familiarity among the average Malayalis, a propaganda video highlighting the Malayali roots of Chandrasekhar and his professional profile is being circulated over the last few days.

The lone candidate from the Muslim community in the list so far is former vice-chancellor of Calicut University M Abdul Salam from Malappuram. He had contested as BJP candidate in 2021 Assembly polls from Tirur and secured only five percent votes. Even as BJP national vice president A P Abdullakutty, who was a two-time MP and MLA under the banner of CPM and Congress, was among the probable BJP candidates, sources said he could be fielded from Lakshadweep.

Dissidents from the opposite camps who found a place in BJP list are Congress veteran leader A K Antony's son Anil Antony from Pathanamthitta and former Congress senior leader C Raghunath from Kannur.

Even as former Kerala Congress leader P C George, who recently joined the BJP, was eyeing the Pathanamthitta seat, there was opposition from certain quarters, but George is still hopeful hopes as candidates for eight more seats are yet to be announced.

Senior BJP leaders from Kerala Shobha Surendran, M T Ramesh and C Krishnakumar are in the fray from Alappuzha, Kozhikode and Palakkad respectively. Mahila morcha state president Nivedida Subramaniyan has been filed from Ponnani.

National executive member of Mahila Morch M L Ashwini will be in the fray from Kasargod. Yuvamorcha state president C R Praphul Krishnan will contest from Vadakara.

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(Published 02 March 2024, 23:34 IST)

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