Top contests of 2014: Shashi Tharoor vs O Rajagopal

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Tharoor vs Rajagopal
Thiruvananthapuram, March 14: As the southern state of Kerala is bracing up for general elections, here is a look at one of the most important constituencies in the state - Thiruvananthapuram.

Here, the union minister Shashi Tharoor will face former union minister and BJP leader O Rajagopal, CPI-M's Bennet Abraham, a relatively non-political candidate and Ajith Joy, a former-IPS who is contesting as an Aam Aadmi Party candidate.

[Read: Top contests of 2014]

Thiruvananthapuram will go to polls on 10 April.

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About Shashi Tharoor (Congress)

A formal UN Under-Secretary-General, Tharoor had in his electoral debut in Thiruvananthapuram in 2009. He defeated his CPI rival P. Ramachandran Nair  by nearly 1 lakh votes. He was given a cabinet seat soon after. However, 58-year-old Tharoor's term in UPA wasn't smooth. Many a times, he had to face brickbats and controversies. He was reportedly not keen to contest this time following the controversy over the untimely death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar in January this year.

In Thiruvananthapuram, where most of the urban residents are educated government employees, Tharoor stands a fair chance of winning. He is popular amongst the constituency's young voters.

About O Rajagopal (BJP)

Eighty-five-year-old Rajagopal started his political career as a national executive council member in the Jan Sangh in 1964-67, is a household name in Trivandrum. He contested the Lok Sabha elections as a Janata Party candidate in 1980 from Kasargod and lost.

He was elected twice to the Rajya Sabha in 1992 and 1998 from outside Kerala. In October 1999, he became Minister of State for Law, Justice and Company affairs with additional charge of Parliamentary Affairs in the Vajpayee Government.

Although, he has never won a election from Kerala, he is a household name in the state, thanks to his contributions as Union Minister of State for Railways and also Parliamentary Affairs during the NDA rule.

About Bennet Abraham (CPI-M)

Bennet is a prominent member of the Church of South India (CSI). The Nadars, a Christian backward caste which has a sizable presence in the capital district, are CSI flock. Abraham is a director of a CSI-run private medical college and a former State Public Service Commission member.

About Ajith Joy (AAP)

An IPS officer of 1992 batch, Ajith Joy quit his job to enter the political fray.Ajith Joy started his career in 1993 as Thalaserry ASP, later as Thiruvananthapuram Crime Branch SP and then the Police Superintendent of Bihar.

In 2004, he resigned from Police department and joined United Nations, where he served in the mission to fight against Somalian pirates. 

Our prediction: Tharoor looks favourite to bag it this time as well.

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