BJP pits former Mizoram Governor against Shashi Tharoor in Thiruvananthapuram
New Delhi, Mar 21: The BJP on Thursday fielded former Mizoram Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan against senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor in Thiruvananthapuram.
In a surprise move, Rajasekharan had resigned from the post of Governor early this month, leading to speculation that the former Kerala BJP chief would be the saffron party's candidate against Tharoor.
His tenure as Mizoram Governor lasted less than 10 months and the appointment came as a shock to many as it was just a couple of days before the crucial by-election in Chengannur.
Kummanam maintains a warm relationship with the NSS, SNDP and other major community organisations.
The BJP is set to contest from 13 seats in Kerala - Kasargode, Kannur, Vadakara, Kochikode, Malappuram, Ponnani, Palakkad, Chalakudy, Ernakulam, Alapuzzha, Kollam, Attingal and Thiruvananthapuram. It is yet to announce the candidate for Pathanamthitta, the constituency housing the Sabarimala temple.
In the last general elections, BJP leader O Rajagopal lost to Congress' Shashi Tharoor in Thiruvananthapuram by a margin of 14,501 votes. Kummanam had contested the Vattiyoorkavu Assembly seat in the 2016 elections.
He came second giving the Congress' K Muraleedharan a tough fight. CPM candidate T N Seema came third. While Congress is all set to field sitting MP Shashi Tharoor, the LDF has chosen senior CPI leader and Nedumangad MLA C Divakaran in the Thiruvananthapuram seat.