THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The NDA was the last among the three fronts to announce candidates for the five seats in which by-elections are scheduled for October 21, but not all names (BJP candidates) seemed to have gone down well, with a scuffle in Manjeshwar and debate in Vattiyoorkavu — where Kummanam Rajasekharan was replaced with S Suresh — reflecting the discordant notes.
The BJP has settled for Thiruvananthapuram district president Suresh despite him being a newcomer in electoral politics. Ravisha Tantri Kuntar got the nod at Manjeshwar.
Party state general secretary K Surendran will contest from Konni and Yuva Morcha state president K P Prakash Babu from Aroor. In Ernakulam, party mandalam president and young leader C G Rajagopal will try his luck.
Suresh’s candidature was unexpected as his name figured below Kummanam in the final list forwarded to the party headquarters in New Delhi, with V V Rajesh being listed third. Kummanam was the favourite given his popularity among the cadre and familiarity with the constituency, where he had contested in the 2016 assembly elections but lost to K Muraleedharan by 7,622 votes.
The former state party president lost to Shashi Tharoor, but trailed Tharoor by only 2,836 votes in the Vattiyoorkavu assembly segment.
Kummanam had on Sunday morning told mediapersons that he was willing to contest if the party asked him to to do so.
“I’ll engage fully in the campaigning of Suresh who’s the party candidate and work for ensuring his victory from Vattiyoorkavu,” Kummanam told mediapersons.
BJP state general secretary M T Ramesh told mediapersons that Kummanam had suggested to the central leadership to give the seat to a young leader. Moreover, Suresh’s was the second name in the list forwarded by the state committee,” said Ramesh.