THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The NDA will release its list of candidates for the upcoming by-elections soon. BJP leader and former Mizoram Governor Kummanam Rajashekharan will be the NDA candidate from Vattiyoorkvau Assembly constituency. BJP state general secretary K Surendran, who had a spirited fight against the UDF and LDF candidates in the recent general elections from Pathanamthitta Lok Sabha constituency, will contest from Konni.
The party is contemplating fielding either Yuvamorcha state president Prakash Babu or BJP state general secretary Shobha Surendran from Aroor Assembly constituency. It has already zeroed in on C G Rajagopal from Ernakulam Assembly seat while in Manjeshwar, the NDA is likely to field Ravisha Kundaru Tantri.
Senior BJP leader O Rajagopal, MLA, announced that Kummanam would be contesting in Vattiyoorkavu and he would begin campaigning on Sunday. The state BJP leadership is hoping to win Vattiyoorkavu, Konni and Manjeshwar and the party machinery is already in place with RSS taking over the mantle of campaigning.
With Kummanam in the fray, the morale of the RSS and BJP cadre will be high and the party feels this is the best opportunity to wrest the seat from the Congress. The saffron party also expects that there will be resentment in the Congress camp over the manner in which Peethambara Kurup was shunted out from the race. With these factors in mind and given the fact that the difference between the UDF and the NDA votes in the Vattiyoorkavu Assembly segment during the last Lok Sabha election was only 2,836, the RSS-led Sangh Parivar will be for an all-out campaign at Vattiyoorkavu.
The BJP has sensed a major opportunity in Konni and the party is to field state general secretary K Surendran. He is an and there is resentment in the Congress party over former DCC president P Mohanraj, an NSS nominee, contesting from Konni. This led to resentment in the Adoor Prakash camp. With Surendran bagging 3,161 votes less than winning candidate Anto Antony in the last Lok Sabha polls in Adoor, there are possibilities of the BJP springing a surprise.
Manjeshwar has always been a major attraction for the BJP leadership. But it narrowly missed winning the seat in several Assembly polls. This time, the party is determined to win the seat notwithstanding the party candidate trailing by 11,113 votes in the Manjeshwar Assembly segment in the last Lok Sabha elections. It may be noted that in the 2016 Assembly elections, Surendran had lost the seat by a mere 89 votes.