BJP to field 'Metro Man' E Sreedharan as Chief Minister candidate in Kerala Assembly elections?
After the announcement of the election dates in Kerala, the alliances are scurrying to find the right candidate for the constituencies. Meanwhile, BJP state president K Surendran claimed that ‘Metro Man’ E Sreedharan is more than qualified to be Kerala’s Chief Minister. “He is a much better candidate than Oommen Chandy or Pinarayi Vijayan,” Surendran added.
While praising Sreedharan, Surendran said that both UDF and LDF are corrupt and an example for the latter is the recent EMCC controversy. “If Fisheries Minister Mercykutty Amma claims that EMCC India is a fake company, then why haven’t the government taken any action against them. Even Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is acting ignorant despite countless meetings inside and outside the country to form the deal,” he added.
After Sreedharan had announced joining BJP, social media had been buzzing with wanting to see Sreedharan as the Chief Minister. Moreover, sources indicate that the party’s state leadership is considering fielding Sreedharan in a core constituency. Meanwhile, sources add that leadership has been pressuring MP and actor Suresh Gopi to contest as well. Some of the constituencies named include Vattiyoorkavu and Thiruvananthapuram.
Meanwhile, the party had faced a split in its leadership with Shobha Surendran taking a different stand in regards to the Indian Union Muslim League. “The Congress is a sinking vessel, and the League cannot accept CPM. If the League is willing to accept Narendra Modi’s policies, then we are more than willing to invite them to the NDA,” said Shobha.
During a press conference as part of the Vijaya Yatra, Surendran denied any future or present alliance with the IUML as they have “split the country apart”. This has caused a split within the part, with both Shobha and Surendran unwilling to go back on their statements. On the same line, K Surendran had already made some strong claims in this regard. Citing the incident at the Kozhikode railway station were explosives were uncovered, Surendran said that Kerala is a state with a strong Islamic terrorist presence.
“Muslim League and Jamaat-e-Islami in UDF and SDPI in LDF have gotten stronger over the years, and they have high influence within their respective alliances. Because of this, a call for a separate Malabar region has gotten louder over the years,” he said, adding that the BJP would bring a UP-like ‘Love Jihad’ law to the Southern state. “A Love Jihad law is very important to a state like Kerala, as a lot of marriages take place here to convert woman into Islam,” he said. He added that even the Christian communities are supporting the Love Jihad law.
However, following criticism of differing opinions, as well as considering the upcoming elections, Surendran changed his tunes to say that he and Shobha meant the same thing. “IUML is the country’s biggest communal party, but if they change their stance, then we might ask them if they are willing to join the NDA. Moreover, we will welcome anyone who leaves the league and join us. There is no difference of opinion between Shobha and me regarding the League,” he said.