There is a new-found enthusiasm among the BJP cadre and confidence among Kerala’s electorate. BJP believes that this time Kerala will buck the trend of alternating between LDF and UDF
BJP’s star-campaigner E Sreedharan with the public at Palakkad
Since early March, all eyes and ears have been glued to both print and electronic media. All the press were eagerly awaiting the list of BJP candidates. They, including LDF and UDF leaders, do so because Kerala BJP is entirely different from what it used to be. Now, it is a force to reckon with. Even though senior leader O. Rajagopal was the lone member in the last assembly, now BJP claims to become the ruling party after the imminent assembly election.
When the party’s central leadership released the list of the 112 candidates on March 14, the common voters and the LDF – UDF leaders realised that this time “BJP means business.” A mere glance of the list generates the same idea among all right-thinking people.
State president K. Surendran contests from two constituencies, viz., Manjeswaram in Kasargod and Konni in Pathanamthitta. Last time he lost Manjeswaram for a wafer-thin shortage of 84 votes. If he had won, the party’s assembly tally would have been two! And, since Sabarimala agitation, Surendran is the darling of the Ayyappa devotees. The place is very close to the hilltop shrine. So, political observers believe that Surendran will come out with flying colours.
Shri O. Rajagopal has opted to keep away from the contest this time, BJP’s most charismatic leader Kummanam Rajasekharan has stepped into Nemam. Here the speculation is all about the majority he is expected to bag.
BJP Firebrand leader Yogi Adityanath also took a swing at the Sabarimala temple issue and stated that the Left government is working against the interests of the famed Sabarimala temple and it was promoting those who are against culture and tradition.
He went on to blame the successive governments in Kerala for doing corruption and creating chaos in the state, and added that they have not taken appropriate action against the prevalence of “Love Jihad” in the state and also took a jibe at the ruling Left government of the state and said it is only interested in the welfare of its cadres, while his party is working for development of all.
The star candidate is Metroman Dr. (Engr) E. Sreedharan, who has thrown his hat into Palakkad. Palakkad has been a stronghold of BJP and RSS for a long. The municipality is under BJP rule since 2016. So, this ajatha shathru is sll set to win with thumping majority.
Retd. DG of Police Dr Jacob Thomas is likely to be a clear winner. Keralites see him as a fighter against corruption. That is why he turned to be the bete noire of CM Pinarayi Vijayan.
Another shining star is Dr K.S. Radhakrishnan, former VC of Sri Sankara Sanskrit University, Kaladi and former chairman of Kerala Public Service Commission. The author of several books and well-known orator in Malayalan and English, Radhakrishan, came up from a humble family atmosphere. Known for his professional ethics and straight forward dealings, the academician par excellence hardly needs any introduction in Thrippoonithura constituency. He contests against sitting CPM MLA and Congress veteran, a former MLA and a former minister.