Kerala: BJP to not field two candidates who came second

Kerala: BJP to not field two candidates who came second

AFP File Photo

The BJP has decided not to field the same candidates at two Assembly seats in Kerala in which the party came second in the 2016 Assembly polls.

As the candidates for by-polls to five seats in Kerala were announced on Sunday, party Kerala state general secretary K Surendran, who lost the Manjeswaram seat in Kasargod, winning just 89 seats in the 2016 Assembly polls, was fielded at Konni in Pathanamthitta. Instead, Ravish Tantri Kuntar who contested as a BJP candidate in the Kasargod Lok Sabha seat was fielded at Manjeswaram.

Former Mizoram governor Kummanam Rajasekharan, who came second at Vattiyoorkavu seat in Thiruvananthapuram in last Assembly polls, was not fielded anywhere, despite strong pressure to field him at Vattiyoorkavu this time too. Instead, BJP district president S Suresh will contest at Vattiyoorkavu.

There were high expectations among BJP caders that the party could win Manjeswaram and Vattiyoorkavu by fielding Surendran and Kummanam respectively. Hence the candidate selections triggered resentment.

At present, BJP has only one MLA in Kerala; the first time ever.