BJP Kerala chief Surendran unlikely to be in poll fray, to focus on campaign

BJP Kerala chief Surendran unlikely to be in poll fray, to focus on campaign
BJP Kerala president K Surendran. File photo: Rahul R Pattom/Manorama

Thiruvananthapuram: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is leaving no stone unturned to improve its poll prospects in Kerala. The party has zeroed in on several legislative assembly constituencies in the state where it could surprise the leading parties. In order to put up a vigorous campaign for the polls likely to be held in April, BJP state president K Surendran has indicated that he would prefer not to enter the electoral fray.

Surendran has informed the BJP central leadership that he may be excused from fighting the polls, party sources say. Instead he would take up the responsibility of the party's poll campaign in the state.

The central leaders have assured him that they would take a decision on his request soon and revert. As per the practice followed in BJP, its state presidents in other states usually contest elections.

However, Surendran has pointed out that with an array of leaders including Union minister V Muraleedharan, actor-MP Suresh Gopi, former state chief Kummanam Rajashekharan and P K Krishnadas all set to contest the polls, if the state president too becomes a candidate then the party could find it difficult to offer a strong challenge to rival parties such as Congress or CPM.

Surendran was reportedly being considered for Manjeshwaram or Konni assembly constituencies.

Survey in 30 constituencies

A national agency, which was entrusted by the BJP central leadership to conduct a survey in 30 constituencies in the state where there is a possibility of a tight triangular contests, has completed the second leg of its appraisal. The agency is expected to hand over the survey report to the central leadership along with recommendation of candidates for each of the 30 seats.

As reported earlier the BJP has managed to secure 20 per cent or more votes in as many as 35 assembly constituencies if the vote share in local body polls held in December is analysed.

The 35 assembly constituencies where the BJP has made a significant surge as per the vote figures of the local body polls held in December are: Nemom, Vattiyoorkavu, Kazhakootam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kattakada, Parassala, Kovalam, Neumangad, Attingal, Chiriyankeezhu, Aruvikkara, Karunagapally, Kundara, Chathannoor, Eravipuram, Kunnathoor, Kottarakara, Thrissur, Manalur, Kunamkulam, Irinjalakuda, Kodungallur, Puthukkad, Nattika, Palakkad, Malampuzha, Chelakara, Ottapalam, Shoranur, Nenmara, Kunnamanalam, Kozhikode North, Uduma, Manjeshwar and Kasaragod.

The BJP is targeting 20 per cent votes in Kerala since such a vote share would provide the saffron party the required foundation for making big strides in future if not in the upcoming assembly election.

Candidate short-listing on

The party is expected to reach a consensus on selection of candidates and seats to be allotted to the allies by February first week.

National general secretary (Organization) B L Santosh will arrive in Kerala by the month-end. This will be followed by the visit of BJP national president J P Nadda in February.

The Assembly election in Kerala is being slated to be held in April, the State's Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Teeka Ram Meena had informed on Tuesday, though any decision or announcement by the Election Commission of India (EC) is awaited.

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