Kerala

BJP set to curb seat hopping by State leaders

BJP State president K. Surendran leads his party’s Vijay Yatra in Alappuzha on Wednesday.  

The BJP Central leadership has decided to flag discrepancies in the candidate selection for the upcoming Assembly polls while expressing displeasure with State leaders for hopping from one constituency to another in every other election.

Sources said that senior leaders choosing segments identified as ‘A’ class or winnable seats had been leading to confusion among local leaders and the cadre of the RSS and the BJP alike.

Besides, the key segments are conveniently shared among leaders of the two factions of the party, led by V. Muraleedharan and P.K. Krishnadas, respectively. Also, the swapping of Assembly constituencies according to the whims of these leaders had not helped the party pull off victories in any tri-cornered contest in the last three Assembly polls, except Nemom last time.

Party base

Another issue that has cropped up before the Central committee is that of leaders from north Kerala contesting from segments in southern districts rather than building up the party base in their own sphere of activity. The RSS State unit had overlooked this important fact, the sources said.

In the previous Assembly polls, State president K. Surendran contested from Manjeshwaram and lost to the Indian Union Muslim League nominee by just 89 votes. However, the victory margin of the IUML candidate was 5,828 when Mr. Surendran contested from this segment in Kasaragod district in the 2011 polls.

However, now the Central and State leaderships wanted Mr. Surendran to contest from Konni segment, as he had in a byelection held in 2019 secured nearly 40,000 votes from there. He had also received over 46,000 votes from the Konni segment in Pathanamthitta constituency in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Probable candidates

Party State general secretary M.T. Ramesh, a native of Kozhikode district, will now have to contest from Kozhikode North rather than choosing another segment. In the previous polls, he had contested from Aranmula.

Likewise, the sources said, former president and former Mizoram Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan would contest from Nemom. The candidature of Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan from Kazhakoottam, Mr. Krishnadas from Kattakkada, A.N. Radhakrishnan from Manalur, and C. Krishnakumar from Malampuzha are under consideration.

The Central committee would take a final call on E. Sreedharan and actor Suresh Gopi contesting from Palakakad and Vattiyoorkavu segments, respectively. after getting a report from the State unit and a survey carried out on the winnability factor, the sources said.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 6:33:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/bjp-set-to-curb-seat-hopping-by-state-leaders/article33981631.ece

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