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Eyes on Anil as BJP fielded its right-choice leader from the Sabrimala fame constituency

Junior Antony Very Popular In Kerala; Will Win Pathanamthitta: Kerala BJP Chief. In the 2019 election, NDA’s K Surendran, the face of the Sabarimala protests across the state, polled 29% Votes against the winner Congress candidate’s 37% Votes

K Venkat Swamy

Thiruvananthapuram: All eyes are on the Pathanamthitta LS seat in Kerala as the BJP has fielded its right choice leader Anil Antony from the Sabarimala temple fame constituency. In the Pathanamthitta Lok Sabha seat, where all three fronts — CPI-M -led LDF, Congress-led UDF and BJP-led NDA — are hopeful of emerging victorious, the poll heat is above the summer heat with the polling schedule yet to be announced by the Election Commission.

The constituency, which is considered a UDF stronghold is destined to witness a fierce triangular fight between CPIM candidate T.M. Thomas Isaac, Congress nominee and incumbent MP from the seat, Anto Antony and NDA’s candidate Anil Antony, a right-choice leader of state BJP Chief K Surendran’s liking. Surendran was the face of the Sabarimala protests across the state. Pathanamthitta constituency is where the famed Sabarimala temple is situated. In the 2019 election, NDA’s K Surendran, the face of the Sabarimala protests across the state, polled 29% Votes against winner Congress candidate’s 37% Votes. Pathanamthitta is one of the constituencies that the BJP is hopeful of winning in the state. BJP candidate Anil Antony is gaining support across the constituency with a large number of people, including women attending his meetings.

Kerala BJP chief K Surendran told The Emerging World that this time his party will win the Pathanamthitta constituency where national secretary and spokesperson Anil K Antony has been fielded. The BJP state president, who lost the Pathanamthitta constituency during the last general elections to Congress’ Anto Antony has also added that Anil, son of veteran Congress leader and former defence minister AK Antony, is very popular in Kerala. He will win the Pathanamthitta seat.

BJP has given priority to winnability over background while choosing its candidates in Kerala. After days of hectic deliberations, Congress leader AK Antony’s son Anil has been given the ticket from the Pathanamthitta seat where the Sabarimala temple, around which there was a controversy over allowing women to worship, is located. BJP views Antony as the key figure to broaden the party’s presence in the state, especially within Christian communities. In a move towards securing a substantial foothold in Kerala, where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) currently lacks representation in the Lok Sabha, the party has nominated Anil Antony.

K Surendran’s comments came right after PC George, one of the newly inducted BJP leaders and former MLA, commented that no one in Pathanamthitta knows who Anil Antony is. George, who is known for his controversial statements, reportedly miffed by missing out on the BJP candidates’ list, added that it will take extra efforts to familiarise Anil Antony with the voters. A day after senior politician PC George expressed his displeasure over the BJP fielding Anil K Antony as the candidate from Pathanamthitta Lok Sabha constituency, the latter visited him at his house and held discussions even as the party’s state chief censured Mr George for expressing his views publicly.

Expressing gratitude for his candidacy in the Pathanamthitta constituency, BJP leader Anil Antony conveyed confidence in the party’s success in Kerala. He stated, “I am very thankful to the BJP leadership. We are very sure our party will do very well in Kerala.” Predicting a historic performance in the national election, Antony asserted, “We will get more than 370 seats across India. Our alliance will get more than 400 seats across India.” Acknowledging the significance of the election in Kerala, he highlighted its potential to mark a historic moment, especially in a state where the BJP has not previously secured a seat.

K Surendran also expressed his confidence in winning Attingal and Thiruvananthapuram where two union ministers have been fielded. Union Minister of State Rajeev Chandrasekhar has been announced as the BJP candidate to contest from Thiruvananthapuram. The Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology is expected to face sitting MP and senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor in Kerala’s capital.

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