Nine from Kerala, including union minister V Muraleedharan and former governor of Mizoram, Kummanam Rajasekharan feature in the list.
For long, the national leadership of the party has been upset with the state leadership as it has been a divided house with two factions - one led by Muraleedharan and another led by former State President PK Krishnadas.
Sreedharan, popularly known as India’s Metro Man, refrained from blaming anyone for the poll defeat. The party workers worked hard, he said, without ruling out undercurrents that might have influenced the result.
Shafi had defeated CPM’s KK Divakaran by 7,403 votes in 2011. He was re-elected in 2016 with a win over BJP’s Shobha Surendran by 17,483 votes.
Palakkad witnessed a high-voltage three-way fight among UDF, NDA and LDF.
Local BJP leaders asserted that the drop in voter cout may affect its rival parties, viz., Congress and the CPM.
Technocrat E Sreedharan, who began his political innings with BJP recently, hopes to turn tables on both his opponents on his poll debut.
In a surprise move, BJP state president K Surendran will contest from Manjeswaram constituency in Kasaragod district and Konni in Pathanamthitta.
Sreedharan, who recently entered politics and joined the BJP, told reporters the Left government in the state had hurt the sentiments of many people by their action.
Though Suresh Gopi had an unsuccessful run for the Lok Sabha from Thrissur, he more than doubled BJP’s vote share in the parliamentary constituency to 28.20 per cent from the 11.15 per cent in 2019.