Kerala BJP kicks off campaign for forthcoming Palakkad Assembly bypoll

With the Election Commission all set to announce the dates for bypolls to two Assembly constituencies and for the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat in Kerala, the BJP launched its campaign at Palakkad on Saturday.
Suresh Gopi
Suresh Gopi
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With the Election Commission all set to announce the dates for bypolls to two Assembly constituencies and for the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat in Kerala, the BJP launched its campaign at Palakkad on Saturday.

The Assembly bye-elections at Palakkad and Chelakkara were necessitated after sitting legislators Shafi Paramabil (Congress at Palakkad) and K Radhakrishnan (CPI-M at Chelakkara) vacated their seats after winning the Lok Sabha polls.

The Palakkad unit of the BJP launched its campaign after a function to felicitate the two party Cabinet members from Kerala.

Suresh Gopi won from the Thrissur Lok Sabha seat while George Kurian a senior party leader will soon be brought into the Rajya Sabha from another state.

Gopi said that just like the people at Thrissur gave BJP the seat, he was confident that the people at Palakkad would also give the seat to the party.

The BJP has now started its search for a suitable candidate for Palakkad and the name of Kerala BJP President, K Surendran, is doing the rounds.

A popular leader, he came a distant third in the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat which has now been vacated by Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Rahul Gandhi.

Apart from K Surendran, the names of Sobha Surendran who contested the Alappuzha Lok Sabha seat and Krishnakumar who contested the Palakkad Lok Sabha seat are also doing the rounds.

The BJP is also seriously looking at apolitical candidates like legendary railway engineer E Sreedharan, as the party is confident that such people can help it open its account in the 140-member Kerala Assembly.

This is especially true at Palakkad as the BJP candidates at the previous two Assembly elections, finished second, pushing the CPI(M) candidates to third place.

Meanwhile at Chelakkara which is a reserved constituency for Scheduled Caste candidates, where the BJP doesn’t hold much of a chance, the party is not going to sit idle and might bring in TN Sarassu, a retired principal of a state-run college.

TN Sarassu had been harassed by the student wing of the CPI(M) on the day she retired from service a few years ago.

Incidentally, TN Sarassu was the BJP’s candidate in the Alathur Lok Sabha constituency, in which the Chelakkara Assembly constituency is located.

Even though she lost the Lok Sabha polls, she was able to increase the BJP’s votes in a major way, as compared to the 2019 General Elections.

Incidentally with the bye-election to the Wayanad Lok Sabha polls also being held and the Congress announcing Priyanka Gandhi as its candidate, there will be a galaxy of leaders from the Congress and BJP arriving for campaigning for the seat.

These leaders are also expected to campaign at Palakkad and Chelakkara, thereby giving these constituencies a feel of high-voltage campaigns.

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