Thiruvananthapuram: Cine artists Suresh Gopi and Krishna Kumar are likely to enter the fray on behalf of the BJP in the upcoming Assembly elections in Kerala. The party's state unit has submitted a list of probable candidates to its central leadership.
Other prominent names in the list drawn up for 40 seats where the BJP fancies its chances are its state president K Surendran, former state chief Kummanam Rajasekharan, M T Ramesh, A N Radhakrishnan, Krishnakumar C and Sandeep Warrier.
Former Indian civil servants Jacob Thomas, T P Senkumar and C V Anandabose are also among the probable candidates.
A notable absentee in the list is BJP's first-ever MLA in Kerala, O Rajagopal, who currently represents the Nemom assembly constituency.
Veteran film actor Suresh Gopi is a Rajya Sabha MP and had contested unsuccessfully from Thrissur in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. He could be considered for either Nemom or Vattiyoorkavu in the state capital.
VV Rajesh is reportedly the front-runner to get the ticket for Vattiyoorkavu, which the CPM had snatched from the Congress in a bypoll.
Film and TV actor Krishna Kumar could contest from Thiruvananthapuram Central seat if he gets the nod. Another probable for the constituency is S Suresh.
Surendran could be fielded from Kazhakootam, another constituency in the Kerala capital which has become a focus zone for the BJP considering the bright prospects.
P K Krishnadas (Kattakada), Karamana Jayan (Parassala) and BL Sudheer (Attingal) have been short-listed for other seats in Thiruvananthapuram district.
In Kollam district, Raji Prasad (Kunnathur), BB Gopakumar (Chathannoor) and Dr K S Radhakrishnan (Karunagapally) are being considered as per the shortlist.
M T Ramesh may try his luck from Chengannur. P R Sivasankar has been listed for Thripoonithura.
Further north, in Thrissur, where the BJP is paying special attention, Sandeep Warrier, B Gopalakrishnan and Aneesh Kumar are being considered. Warrier is also in the pick for the Palakkad seat.
In Malampuzha, BJP's state general secretary C Krishnakumar is a probable candidate. K Srikanth is being touted for Mancheswaram in Kasaragod district.
A decision on the BJP candidates for the 40 assembly constituencies could be announced this month itself.
The state election is likely in April or May.