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Kummanam Rajasekharan resigns as Mizoram governor, triggers speculation of contesting LS polls from Kerala for BJP

Thiruvananthapuram: Kummanam Rajasekharan has resigned as the Mizoram governor less than 10 months after being appointed to the post setting of speculation that the senior BJP leader from Kerala may fight the Lok Sabha polls from Thiruvananthapuram, a seat held by Shashi Tharoor of the Congress.

A staunch RSS man and a former chief of state unit of BJP, Rajasekharan, 65, is being seen as the saffron party's best Lok Sabha chance from Kerala, which is the only major state where it is yet to open an account.

President Ram Nath Kovind has accepted the resignation of Rajasekharan as Mizoram governor, a Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson said in New Delhi on Friday.

 Kummanam Rajasekharan resigns as Mizoram governor, triggers speculation of contesting LS polls from Kerala for BJP

BJP leader Kummanam Rajasekharan. News18

Though the BJP leadership is yet to announce the candidate list, state party sources said chances are high that Rajasekharan could contest from the prestigious Thiruvananthapuram seat, one of the half-a-dozen constituencies where the party hopes to put up a good showing.

Rajasekharan was made the Mizoram governor on 25 May, 2018 in a surprise move when the crucial Chengannur Assembly bypoll was round the corner.

Since then, a section of party workers had been demanding and speculating about the return of the senior leader to active politics.

If Rajasekharan is chosen for the Thiruvananthapuram constituency, a fierce triangular contest involving the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF), Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) and the BJP is on the cards.

Though the Congress-led UDF is also yet to announce its candidate list, Tharoor is expected to seek a third term from Thiruvananthapuram .

The LDF has named CPI's sitting MLA C Divakaran as its nominee.

When his reaction on the possible fielding of Rajasekharan from the constituency was sought, Tharoor said the BJP leader was a good human being, but it was the ideology of the party which the candidate represented mattered.

"As far as I know, he is a good human being. But, not the individual but the ideology of the party which he represents and what kind of India that they envisage is most important. People of the constituency know very well what I have done for them in the last 10 years," he told reporters.

Divakaran said who would be the rival candidate did not matter for him."If Rajasekharan contests from here, it's good actually... because we will get a chance to debate with him on the performance of the BJP-led government at the Centre," he said.

BJP state president PS Sreedharan Pillai said as of now he could not confirm whether or not Rajasekharan would contest the upcoming polls. "It is up to our national leadership to announce the candidates. But, his (Rajasekharan) centre of action during the upcoming election will be Thiruvananthapuram," he said adding Rajasekharan's return to the state would give more strength to the party during the time of elections.

O Rajagopal, a senior BJP leader and the party's sole MLA in the state assembly, had given a tough fight to Tharoor in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. He had garnered 2,83,226 votes then with Tharoor winning by a margin of little over 15,000 votes.

The BJP is pinning high hopes on Thiruvananthapuram especially in view of the Sabarimala issue over which a large number of people, including women, had come out against the LDF government's decision to implement the Supreme Court verdict permitting women of menstrual age to offer prayers at the Lord Ayyappa shrine.

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Updated Date: Mar 08, 2019 18:11:33 IST