BDJS’ Thushar Vellappally is the NDA candidate to take on Rahul in Wayanad

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on April 01, 2019

Congress President Rahul Gandhi contesting from Kerala seems to have forced the first major change in candidate line-up in the Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency.

A tweet from BJP President Amit Shah announced a change in candidate for the seat allotted to NDA alliance partner the Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS).

BDJS President Thushar Vellappally is being deputed to Wayanad to take on a prospective prime ministerial candidate of the Congress in place of the ‘largely unheralded’ Paili Vadyattu.

Amit Shah on Monday tweeted: “I proudly announce Shri Thushar Vellappally, President of Bharat Dharma Jana Sena, as the NDA candidate from Wayanad.

“A vibrant and dynamic youth leader, he represents our commitment towards development and social justice. With him, NDA will emerge as Kerala’s political alternative.”

This also means that Vellappally would move out of Thrissur. There is no official word from NDA Kerala as to who would replace him.

Vadakkan for Thrissur?

The two names doing the rounds are Rajya Sabha MP Suresh Gopi and former all-India spokesperson of the Congress Tom Vadakkan, who recently joined the BJP, and has roots in Thrissur.

AV Narayanaswamy, a farmer and consultant in Wayanad, summed it up saying people are only bothered about the victory margin for Gandhi, who has catapulted their region to national and international fame.

The late MI Shanavas of the Congress won the seat in 2009 and 2014 but also saw the victory margin come down from 1.53 lakh votes to 20,870. This could be partly explained to the doubling of the BJP votes to 8.82 per cent in 2014.

“The CPI was at the receiving end on both occasions, and it does not inspire much confidence this time around too,” Narayanswamy said. According to him, Thushar Vellappally could end up at best a ‘sacrificial lamb.’

Published on April 01, 2019

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