(PTI)
(PTI)

BJP's K Surendran to contest from Kerala's Pathanamthitta

  • The Sabarimala temple is located in the Pathanamthitta constituency
  • Surendran's candidature was caught in internal factional wars

Bengaluru: After several delays and fights within, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday announced K Surendran, one of the several Kerala general secretaries, as their candidate in the Pathanamthitta constituency, where the Sabarimala temple is located.

Surendran, a leader known for his firebrand speeches, was a champion of the street agitations to deny entry for menstruating age women in Sabarimala, despite a Supreme Court order, which led to clashes and his arrest. His candidature was caught in internal factional wars, Mint reported on 19 March.

For the party that has never won a Lok Sabha seat in Kerala, the fights to deny temple entry for women in Sabarimala was supposed to be, in the words of BJP Kerala president Sreedharan Pillai, "a golden chance" in the 2019 parliamentary contest in Kerala. Its nerve center, Pathanamthitta, is seen as one of the seats where the party has a fighting chance to put up a three-cornered contest.

During the last few weeks, state BJP leaders were seen openly vying to get the ticket to contest from Pathanamthitta. At least four major BJP leaders wanted to contest from the seat—Sreedharan Pillai, union minister of state for tourism Alphons Kannanthanam, BJP general secretaries K Surendran and MT Ramesh. They were not willing to contest from anywhere else, Mint reported.

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