LS Polls: BJP Announces 12 Candidates In 1St List For Kerala; Union Ministers Chandrasekhar, Muraleedharan Among Big Names

(MENAFN- IANS) Thiruvananthapuram, March 3 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in its first list of candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections on Saturday, announced the names of 12 candidates from Kerala.

Kerala has a total of 20 Lok Sabha seats.

The BJP sprang a huge surprise when it announced the name of Anil Antony, son of former Defence Minister and Congress veteran A.K. Antony from the Pathanamthitta seat.

Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar has been named to take on three-time Congress MP Shashi Tharoor from the prestigious Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha seat, while another Union Minister, V. Muraleedharan has been fielded from Attingal Lok Sabha seat.

Another surprise has been the naming of three women candidates, which includes firebrand leader Sobha Surendran from Alappuzha, Mahila Morcha leader M.L. Ashwini from Kasargod, and Niveditha Subramanian from Ponnani.

Popular actor Suresh Gopi who fought the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from Trissur and finished third would contest again from the same seat.

Former Calicut University vice-chancellor and BJP leader M. Abdul Salam will contest for the Malappuram seat.

Senior BJP leader M.T. Ramesh will fight for the Kozhikode seat while Yuva Morcha president Praful Krishna will contest for the Badagara seat.

C. Raghunath, who recently quit the Congress party to join the BJP, will contest the polls from Kannur seat while C. Krishnakumar has been asked to contest for the second time from Palakkad.

A surprise omission was the name of seven-time former legislator P.C. George who merged his party with the BJP last month. He, however, said that he never ever asked a seat for himself even as his name was being speculated for the Pathanamthitta seat.

Kerala unit BJP president K. Surendran thanked the national leadership for announcing the best candidates for the 12 seats.

"The list contains a perfect mix of youth, seasoned leaders besides women. The names are more or less the same as what we expected. We are confident of doing well this time," said Surendran.


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