Sreesanth joins BJP, to contest from Thiruvananthapuram

March 25, 2016

NEW DELHI: The BJP, till now a non-entity in Kerala, in its strategy to take a foothold there by targetting the young voters, inducted former cricketer Sreesanth into the party. It has also been announced that he will contest from Thiruvananthapuram in the forthcoming Kerala Assembly elections.

The Central Election Committee (CEC) of the party had met on Friday at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi to finalise the list of candidates for Kerala. "The discussion took place in the meeting keeping Kerala's best interests in mind. Sreesanth will be contesting from Thiruvananthapuram seat," Union Health Minister JP Nadda, who is the in-charge for Kerala, said after the CEC meeting. The party has finalised the first list of 51 candidates for Kerala, including the Sreesanth.

Sreesanth said later, "Whenever I thought about joining politics I always thought about doing so with the BJP." The 33-year old Shanthakumaran Sreesanth said his name has been cleared by the court in a match-fixing case of 2013 IPL. However, he still faces a ban on playing any form of cricket by the BCCI. A pace bowler, he played for Rajasthan Royals.

The BJP does not have any legislator in the Kerala assembly. However, the party managed to increase its vote share in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections by securing 10 per cent votes. The party hopes to forge ahead with support from the cadres of the RSS, which has a strong presence in the State.

Party president Amit Shah had been to Kerala on a campaign recently. He exhorted the Kerala electorate, that mostly have voted the Left alliance LDF or the Congress front UDF, alternately, to give his party a chance.

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