Mizoram Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan resigned Friday afternoon, paving the way for his return to his home state Kerala and likely candidature as the BJP nominee from the prestigious Thiruvananthapuram constituency.
A communique from the Rashtrapati Bhawan confirmed that President Ram Nath Kovind accepted Rajasekharan’s resignation. Jagdish Mukhi, governor of Assam, has been given additional charge of Mizoram until a new nominee is selected.
Rajasekharan’s resignation comes days after the Kerala unit of the BJP made an official plea to the central leadership to relieve the former of his duties so that he can be fielded as the party candidate from Thiruvananthapuram.
Rajasekharan headed the state unit in Kerala until May last year when he has unceremoniously dropped just ahead of a key bye-election and sent to the northeastern state. Under his leadership, the BJP had opened its account in the Kerala Assembly in 2016 and came second in eight other seats across the state.
Rajasekharan’s candidature will make the fight in Thiruvananthapuram a strong three-cornered one between the incumbent MP Shashi Tharoor and CPI candidate C Divakaran. In 2014, the BJP candidate O Rajagopal led in four of the seven segments before going down to Tharoor by a small margin of 15,000 votes.
This time, however, the BJP estimates that a candidate like Rajasekharan, who has the ability to influence the core Hindu vote, coupled with gains from the Sabarimala agitation can take the saffron party across the finishing line. Kerala is the only big state in the country where the BJP is yet to win a seat on its own.