The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has named Union Minister Alphons Kannanthanam as its candidate for Rajya Sabha bye-poll from Rajasthan.
Party chief Amit Shah made the declaration on Sunday, that the bureaucrat-turned politician from Kerala will contest the bye-poll from Rajasthan, to be held on November 16. 64-year-old Kannanthanam is the only minister in the Modi government who hails from Kerala.
The Rajya Sabha seat was vacated by former Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, who was elected as the Vice-President. According to reports, the notification for the bye-poll will be issued on Monday and the last date of filing nominations is November 6.
The Congress has not yet named their candidate.
The announcement comes more than a month after Kannanthanam, a 1979 batch IAS officer, was appointed as the Union Minister for Tourism (Independent charge), in a cabinet reshuffle. He was one among the eight people who were inducted into the cabinet on September 3.
Kannanthanam had in 2011, shifted his loyalties to the BJP after entering the Kerala Assembly with the support of the LDF in 2006. He later joined BJP and became a National Executive Committee member.