New Delhi: The BJP has come out with its first list of candidates for the Lok Sabha elections, in the process becoming the last major coalition to decide on contestants in Kerala, but the party seems to be holding back its announcement on the contentious Pathanamthitta seat.
The ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the main opposition United Democratic Front have announced its candidates.
Even though, the AICC has held back its announcement in Wayanad and Vadakara seats, the state unit of the Congress has announced its candidates, who have started their campaign in these seats.
The list released on Thursday has named 13 candidates from Kerala. The party is set to contest 14 seats but is yet to decide on Pathanamthitta, where state BJP chief P S Sreedharan Pillai and state general secretary K Surendran are in the race.
According to the list, former Mizoram Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan will contest from Thiruvananthapuram, Union Minister Alphons Kannanthanam from Ernakulam and BJP leader Shobha Surendran from Attingal.
In a press conference held at New Delhi, Union Minister and BJP leader J P Nadda released the list.
The tussle for Pathanamthitta constituency, which was the epicentre of the Sabarimala agitation in the recent past, delayed the finalization of the list prompting the state leadership to even send a rehashed list to New Delhi.
Tom Vadakkan, who switched over from Congress last week, failed to find place in the first list.
The BJP will contest in 14 of the 20 Lok sabha seats in the state.
The Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS) will contest in five seats and the P C Thomas-led Kerala Congress will contest the Kottayam seat.
The BDJS will field candidates from Wayanad, Alathur, Idukki, Thrissur and Mavelikkara constituencies. The BDJS, which was formed in late 2015, is an ally of the BJP in Kerala and a constituent of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
The list was finalized after the Central Election Committee (CEC) meeting held at BJP headquarters on Tuesday and Wednesday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah attended the meeting.
First list of candidates for Kerala:
Kasaragod: Raveesh Thantri Kuntar
Kannur: C K Padmanabhan
Vadakara: V K Sajeevan
Kozhikode: Adv K P Prakash Babu
Malappuram: Unnikrishnan Master
Ponnani: Prof V T Rema
Palakkad: C Krishnakumar
Chalakudy: A N Radhakrishnan
Ernakulam: Alphons Kannanthanam
Alappuzha: Dr K S Radhakrishnan
Kollam: K V Sabu
Attingal: Shobha Surendran
Thiruvananthapuram: Kummanam Rajasekharan