BJP yet to name candidate for Pathanamthitta which houses Sabarimala temple
New Delhi, Mar 22: The BJP in its first list of candidates announced the names of 13 candidates to contest from Kerala. The party however deferred the name of the candidate to contest from the Pathanamthitta seat, which houses the Sabarimala temple.
Pathanamthitta was in the news following the Sabarimala controversy, following a Supreme Court verdict that allowed women of all ages to enter the temple.
The Pathanamthitta seat is currently represented by Anto Anthony of the UDF. He won the elections in 2014 in which the LDF-INF and BJP candidates ended with the second and third positions respectively.
The BJP is hoping to cash in on the strong undercurrent against the LDF candidate Antony. He is not just facing anti-incumbency, but also dissent from his own party as he originally hails from Kottayam.
A win from Pathanamthitta would signal the view point of political parties on the Sabarimala issue. Pathanamthitta has five assembly constituencies. The constituency has a Hindu population of 55 per cent, followed by the Christians. Pathanamthitta has a Muslim population of only 6 per cent. Both the Congress led UDF and CPM led LDF have always fielded Christians from this constituency.
The BJP would carefully choose its candidate from the Pathanamthitta seat. It is hoping to cash in on the Sabarimala agitation. The party is said to be ironing out differences with the RSS on the candidate who needs to be fielded from here. The RSS is said to be favouring K Surendran, who was jailed and banned from entering the district after he led the Sabarimala agitation.