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Trivandrum:

Actor turned politician and Rajya Sabha MP Suresh Gopi has been named by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as its candidate in Thrissur. Earlier, it was decided that Thushar Vellapilly of BDJS will represent NDA in the constituency. However, as Congress finalised the candidature of Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad, things changed.

Thushar was fielded against Rahul Gandhi. It was on Tuesday, BJP’s central selection committee announced his candidature in Thrissur after the actor had discussions with PM Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah in Delhi.

Though BDJS leader Thushar Vellapally had started election campaign in Thrissur, he was moved to Wayanad following Rahul Gandhi’s candidature there. This compelled NDA leadership to look for a publicly accepted figure in Thrissur. As far as the NDA is considered, Thrissur is one of the topmost constituencies where it can perform well in the upcoming elections. During the Assembly elections in 2016, the BJP managed to accumulate over one lakh votes in the constituency.

There were speculations that BJP would nominate one of its general secretaries, most probably M.T. Ramesh for the Thrissur seat. But the national leadership seems to have settled for Suresh Gopi to avoid group bickerings that have settled since the election frenzy began.

Suresh Gopi will be facing tough competition from T.N Prathapan of UDF and Rajaji Mathew Thomas of LDF.

Earlier, Suresh Gopi had a plan of competing for the Lok Sabha from the Trivandrum seat. But later, he backed off from standing in the elections. With the central committee of the part announcing the candidacy, NDA leaders here are all set to kick start the campaign with full energy.

“The previous elections show that Thrissur is a constituency having more chances for winning. With the election campaign in full swing, Thrissur in which the candidacy was announced last will emerge the winner first,” Suresh said.

It is reported that Suresh Gopi will begin the campaign in Thrissur on Wednesday itself, as there no much time left to file the nominations and reach out to the public.

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