Battle Between Ex-Technocrat and Ex-Diplomat in Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram: After having tried unsuccessfully to beat Shashi Tharoor in the Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha seat despite fielding veteran heavyweights O. Rajagopal and Kummanam Rajashekharan, the BJP has chosen former technocrat and Union IT Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar to end the 15-year reign of the diplomat turned politician.

The BJP believes that a high-profile person like Rajeev Chandrasekhar, who has family roots in Thrissur, could spring a surprise in the Thiruvananthapuram constituency which has welcomed star candidates with open arms in the past. They cite the example of Shashi Tharoor who despite being a high profile UN diplomat, had no experience worth the name in the political landscape of Kerala.

But he struck an instant chord with the voters of the Thiruvananthapuram constituency. Tharoor struggled with the Malayalam language in the initial days but that never came as a handicap for him. He connected well with all sections of society from techies of Technopark, government employees, the coastal population, farmers, agricultural workers, women, students and youth.

In the maiden contest in 2009, he won by a huge margin of nearly 1 lakh votes. At that time the BJP had fielded P K Krishna Das who could manage only 84,000, ending up a poor third.

But Tharoor faced a huge scare in 2014 when BJP’s veteran O Rajagopal managed to reduce the margin to 15,470 votes.

In 2019, Tharoor came back strongly, defeating a formidable candidate like Kummanam Rajashekharan by a margin of 99,998 votes. The LDF came third.

The BJP camp believes that the anti-incumbency factor will work against Tharoor this time and it will be advantageous to Rajeev Chandrasekhar. The LDF has fielded a veteran leader in Pannyan Raveendran who is a former MP from Thiruvananthapuram.

Pannyan who leads a spartan life, is quite popular in the constituency and the Left believes that he is the best choice in the present political circumstances.

Apart from Thiruvananthapuram, the BJP is making a strong bid for Thrissur where actor Suresh Gopi is locked in a triangular contest with the sitting MP T N Prathapan and LDF’s V S Sunil Kumar who is a former minister.

The BJP has fielded veteran Congress leader A K Antony’s son Anil Antony from Pathanamthitta. Union Minister V Muraleedharan will try his luck from the Attingal Lok Sabha seat.

The list of 12 candidates of BJP for Kerala; M L Ashwini – Kasargod, C Raghunath – Kannur, Praful Krishna – Vadakara, M T Ramesh – Kozhikode , Dr Abdul Salam – Malappuram, Nivedita Subramaniam – Ponnani, C Krishna Kumar – Palakkad, Suresh Gopi – Thrissur, Shobha Suredran – Alappuzha, Anil K Antony – Pathanamthitta, V Muraleedharan – Attingal and Rajeev Chandrashekhar – Thiruvananthapuram.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
Next Story