Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) president Amit Shah on Monday announced that Thushar Vellappally of Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS), an ally of the saffron party in Kerala, will be the ruling NDA's candidate against Congress chief Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad. Meanwhile, the main opposition, LDF has fielded CPI’s PP Suneer from the Wayanad constituency.
"I proudly announce Shri Thushar Vellappally, president of Bharat Dharma Jana Sena, as NDA candidate from Wayanad. A vibrant and dynamic youth leader, he represents our commitment towards development and social justice. With him, the NDA will emerge as Kerala's political alternative," Shah tweeted.
Responding to Shah, Tushar thanked by tweeting: “Sir thanks for giving me the opportunity and big thanks for the kind words. This behind the curtain drama of the left and congress we will expose to our countrymen. I am with you in this fight to eradicate foreign rule from our motherland. Namo Again."
Thushar is the son of Vellappally Natesan, who founded BDJS and is the general secretary of the influential Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam, which works for the welfare of Ezhava community, a backward caste with a sizeable population in the state.
BDJS, which is fighting it’s first Lok Sabha polls in Kerala, has been allotted five seats as per the seat-sharing agreement. The party was formed in 2015 and secured 4.47 percent of the votes in the 2016 Assembly elections in Kerala.
Earlier, ahead of the by-election in Kerala's Chengannur, BDJS had shown "non-cooperation" with the BJP as their demands weren't met. Tushar had told the media that the BDJS is a part of the NDA, but "due to demands being not met", they had decided to continue "non-cooperation" with the BJP. The reason for BDJS displeasure was reported to be the unfulfilment of the promise of posts to it when it decided to join the NDA in 2015.
The NDA's announcement comes a day after Congress declared Gandhi’s candidature from the seat in the south. Rahul is also contesting from Amethi, from where he has won thrice earlier. Wayanad will go to polls in the third phase of the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections on 23 April.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Apr 01, 2019 17:45:27 IST