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Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Anil Antony BJP’s picks for Kerala in ‘double digit’ push

Anil to contest from Pathanamthitta and Chandrasekhar from Thiruvananthapuram.

Tauqeer Khan

New Delhi : Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently said the BJP is aiming at a two-digit number in Kerala where at present the party has no Lok Sabha MP. On Saturday, as the first list of the candidates was announced, the BJP played its hidden cards in Kerala — Anil Antony to contest from Pathanamthitta and Rajeev Chandrasekhar from Thiruvananthapuram. This will be the Lok Sabha debut for both leaders. Rajeev Chandrasekhar is the Union IT minister and was a Rajya Sabha member.
The BJP will put up a strong fight in Kerala with Suresh Gopi from Thrissur, Muraleedharan from Attingal and Shobha Surendra from Alappuzha. Rajeev Chandrasekhar in all likelihood will be contesting against Shashi Tharoor from Congress, the sitting MP.
BJP national secretary and spokesperson Anil Antony has claimed that the party will make considerable gains in the Lok Sabha elections in Kerala. He said the party had robust organisational network in the State. It had the potential to expand its roots and the Parliament elections would reflect the party’s strength.

Who is Anil Antony?


Anil Antony is the son of former defence minister AK Anthony. He joined the BJP in 2023 which created a stir as his father did not support his decision of leaving the party that senior Anthony has been serving for decades. In Congress, Anil was the head of the Congress Kerala digital media cell. He was critical of the Congress’s stand on BBC’s documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and called it prejudiced against India.
In BJP, he was made the national secretary and a national spokesperson.

Who is Rajeev Chandrasekhar?


Rajeev Chandrasekhar is the minister of state for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology and Minister of State for Ministry of Jal Shakti. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2018.

A technocrat, Rajeev Chandrasekhar worked at Intel from 1988 to 1991. At Intel, he was part of architectural team that designed I486 processor. He also completed an advance management program from Harvard University.

In 1991 after returning to India, he became part of BPL Group. In 1994, Chandrasekhar founded BPL Mobile, one of the major telecom companies in India then with license over places such as Mumbai. In July 2005, he sold his 64 percent stake in BPL Communications to Essar Group for US$1.1 billion. Rajeev founded Jupiter Capital in 2005, with an initial investment of US$100 million, and currently has investments and managed assets of over US$800 million in technology, media, hospitality, and entertainment.

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