THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The BJP state election committee that met in Thrissur on Thursday has shortlisted the candidates for the assembly election. The list will be vetted by the BJP Central Election Committee in Delhi on Friday afternoon and a final announcement is expected later that day or on Saturday.According to sources, Union Minister V Muraleedharan is unlikely to enter the fray this time. In the previous assembly election, he had finished second in Kazhakkoottam.
BJP state president K Surendran’s name has been proposed from many A+ constituencies but he wishes to contest from Konni. Meanwhile, there is also pressure on Surendran to contest from Kazhakkoottam as the party needs a strong Ezhava candidate in the constituency in case Muraleedharan opts out. Sobha Surendran has already indicated her unwillingness to contest this time.
Senior leader Kummanam Rajasekharan’s name is unanimous from Nemom which is the most prestigious seat of the party. Former state president C K Padmanabhan is the top contender to take on Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in Dharmadom. Another former state president P K Krishnadas will contest from Kattakkada.
While E Sreedharan’s name figures on top in Palakkad, retired DGP Jacob Thomas will be fielded fom Irinjalakuda. Suresh Gopi has been proposed as candidate from Thrissur. The actor-MP’s name has been proposed from Vattiyoorkavu and Thiruvananthapruam assembly segments as well, but it is not clear whether he will enter the fray.Sources say the finalisation of candidates has become a tough task in several constituencies, including Chengannur, Thrissur, Manjeshwar and Vattiyoorkavu.
B Gopalakrishnan, Sandeep Warrier in race for Thrissur
Though the central leadership wants R Balashankar, co-convener, BJP national training programme, to contest from Chengannur, the state leadership has proposed the name of M V Gopakumar. Thrissur has other contenders too, including B Gopalakrishnan, Sandeep Warrier and M S Sampoorna. In the case of Manjeshwar, the RSS wants Ravisha Tantri Kuntar to contest but the state leadership is keen to field district president K Shreekanth instead. In Vattiyoorkavu, there is reportedly a tussle between district president V V Rajesh and former district president S Suresh for candidature.