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BJP appoints K Surendran as party's new chief in Kerala

By PTI
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Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 15: With the BJP appointing firebrand leader K Surendran as it's Kerala unit chief, the saffron party is getting a president after a gap of over three months. The party's topmost post was lying vacant in the southern state after his predecessor Sreedharan Pillai was appointed Mizoram Governor in October 2019.

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Surendran's appointment comes at a time when Kerala is gearing up for the local body election this year and the assembly polls in 2021. BJP president J P Nadda on Saturday appointed Surendran as the party's Kerala unit chief.

The face of the saffron party's fierce agitation against entry of young women in Sabarimala, Surendran had been a front-runner for the presidentship since the beginning.

A close confidant of union minister V Muraleedharan, the 50-year-old leader has a tough task ahead of him to gain seats and increase the party vote share in the impending polls.

Presently a state general secretary, Surendran had undergone 22 days imprisonment during the height of the BJP and right wing outfits-led Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple protests against entry of young women into the shrine.

Talking to reporters, Surendran said he would take the opportunity to lead the party and will effectively fulfill the duty that has been entrusted to him by the party's national leadership.

Hailing from Ulleyeri in Kozhikode, Kunnummel Surendran had contested unsuccessfully from Pathnamthitta in the Lok Sabha polls held last year.

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Six months later, he was fielded from Konni in the assembly bypoll, which also he lost. He was defeated in the 2016 assembly polls by a meagre 89 votes from the Manjeswaram constituency.

Besides Kerala, Nadda has also appointed Dal Bahadur Chauhan and Vishnu Datt Sharma as new presidents of the party's Sikkim and Madhya Pradesh units.

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