Sobha Surendran to contest from Kazhakkoottam after initial hiccup

BJP leader Shobha Surendran. Photo: Manorama

Kochi: The BJP central readership has informed Sobha Surendran that she is the party's candidate from Kazhakoottam, Manorama News reported.

Kazhakkoottam is one of the few remaining constituencies for which the party had not yet named a candidate for the upcoming Kerala assembly polls.

A formal announcement is expected in Delhi as the state leadership has reportedly given nod after initial hesitancy.

Sobha's name was listed with the Kazhakkoottam constituency in Thiruvananthapuram district after she expressed her willingness to contest. Her name was omitted from the first set of candidates that the party had announced on Sunday though its central leadership had wanted her to contest.

Though her name was in the list of probable candidates for the Chathannoor seat, she did not figure in the final list.

Sources say many in the state leadership had expressed their dissatisfaction with her candidacy.

Those close to Sobha alleged that party chief Surendran had threatened to resign if she was included in the final list.

In the 2016 Kerala assembly polls, BJP had fielded V Muraleedharan, now the Union Minister of State for External Affairs, in Kazhakkoottam. He came second to CPM's Kadakampally Surendran.

Major parties in the state have been blamed for poor representation of women in their candidate list. Mahila Congress President Lathika Subash resigned and quit the Congress the other day after she was not chosen as a candidate.

Sobha, in response to Lathika's actions, had said “it was an opportunity for men in politics to reconsider their decisions”. This comment was likely a veiled message to her own party leaders for ignoring her case.

Besides Kazhakkoottam, BJP is yet to announce its candidates for the Kollam and Karunagappally seats. The other day it unilaterally took over a few seats allotted to its NDA ally BDJS.

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