Kerala

BJP Chooses Anil Antony in Pathanamthitta, Disappointing PC George

Internal Friction and Political Fallout Unfold as Party Dynamics Shift

Pathanamthitta: When the BJP’s Pathanamthitta Lok Sabha seat allocation was completed, Anil Antony was nominated as their candidate after PC George intended to contest it. This reflects factional politics within the BJP. If George had become the candidate, there was potential for greater competition in the constituency. However, with Anil’s nomination, the general assessment is that this possibility has receded. The BJP sees Anil as a candidate they can promote nationally. Clearly, this shows K Surendran sidelined George.

PC George’s Disappointment

Meanwhile, George expressed dissatisfaction at not getting the Pathanamthitta seat after the candidate’s announcement. He said Pathanamthitta would be difficult for Anil Antony, calling him unfamiliar with the constituency. George stated that the people of Pathanamthitta wanted him to contest, and Anil needed to be introduced there.

“Anil will need more exposure. He can only be introduced if I campaign more than him,” George responded. “There is sadness about that. But let’s try.” George also claimed no pro-UDF wave for opponent Anto Antony exists in the constituency.

George was initially considered for the Pathanamthitta Lok Sabha constituency by BJP leadership. Anil Antony’s name was unexpectedly announced in a surprise move. Disappointed, PC George stated, “Pinarayi Vijayan and Vellappally Natesan did not want me to contest in Pathanamthitta. I said I did not want to be a candidate in this Lok Sabha election. NDA leaders wanted me to be the Pathanamthitta candidate. This was communicated to me by the leadership. When they insisted, I wondered why not contest. It would only bring happiness,” George added.

Meanwhile, BJP state president K. Surendran said the lotus will bloom in Kerala, and George will get due consideration. In response to George, he said elections are still days away and “we will wait and see.”

BJP’s Nomination Strategy

The BJP central leadership announced candidates for around 195 national seats, including 12 in Kerala. The Kerala candidates are Rajeev Chandrasekhar (Thiruvananthapuram), V. Muralidharan (Attingal), Suresh Gopi (Thrissur), Shobha Surendran (Alappuzha), Abdul Salam (Malappuram), ML Ashwini (Kasaragod), MT Ramesh (Kozhikode), Anil Antony (Pathanamthitta), C. Krishnakumar (Palakkad), C. Raghunath (Kannur), Praful Krishna (Vadakara) and Nivedita Subramaniam (Ponnani).

The BJP’s candidate selection for the Pathanamthitta Lok Sabha seat has caused internal friction. PC George seemed poised to contest from Pathanamthitta, garnering support from local NDA leaders. Instead, the party leadership unexpectedly nominated Anil Antony.

George openly expressed disappointment, claiming he had greater familiarity with the constituency than Antony. He felt his candidacy could have led to heightened competition. Antony’s nomination reflects the BJP’s desire to promote younger candidates on the national stage.

State President’s Response

State president K. Surendran downplayed the controversy, stating the party will unite behind its candidates. But George’s vocal criticism exposes divides within the Kerala BJP. As the election nears, the party hopes to move past this internal discord to focus on expanding its footprint in the state.

Pathanamthitta’s candidate choice may be an isolated case of power struggles. But the BJP’s central leadership will aim to avoid scenarios that could hamper its electoral prospects in Kerala and beyond.

Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma is a seasoned Political Journalist with a deep passion for Indian Politics. With over a decade of experience in the field, he has established himself as a trusted… More »

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