Lines are Drawn for an Interesting Political Contest in the Kerala State Capital: Rajeev Chandrasekhar Vs Shashi Tharoor

Indian From South
3 min readMar 5, 2024

Today morning, one of my ex-colleagues, who is not a Modi fan, texted me, telling me that the BJP is not serious about the Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha seat. His point was that Rajeev Chandrasekhar was an unfamiliar face to Malayalis and was bound to lose to Shashi Tharoor.

My response to him was this: ‘My friend, you seem to be underestimating the political acumen of the Malayali.’

Who is Rajeev Chandrasekhar?

Rajeev Chandrasekhar, a Malayali settled in Bengaluru, may not have lived in Kerala, but he is well-known to Keralites as a Central minister and also due to his significant ownership stake in the Malayalam news channel, Asianet News.

Time and again, some of his video clips on various political issues have gone viral in Kerala, as well. Watch this short video clip to learn more about him.

It is true that Rajeev may not be your next-door Malayali politician. But for that matter, when Shashi Tharoor decided to contest from Thiruvananthapuram in 2009, he was unknown to Malayalis.

His claim to fame was his unsuccessful bid for the UN Secretary-General position. But beyond that, nobody knew him as a politician. To that extent, Rajeev Chandrasekhar is more known to Malayalis than Shashi Tharoor was in 2009.

But why Rajeev Chandrasekhar? He could have easily won from any of the seats in Bengaluru. Why did they decide to field him from Thiruvananthapuram? Aren’t there other excellent local BJP politicians in Kerala? Yes, there are.

In 2009 and 2014, the BJP fielded O. Rajagopal, known to be a clean, noncontroversial politician, but he lost to Shashi Tharoor. In 2019, the BJP fielded the ex-Mizoram governor, Kummanam Rajasekharan. Kummanam is a true Karmayogi, someone who has worked for the welfare of the downtrodden for many decades. I personally thought he would win against Tharoor. His defeat came as a shock to many, like me.

It was clear from all of these that the people of Thiruvananthapuram were still spellbound by Shashi Tharoor. The BJP leadership seemed to have understood this. They had to find someone who could stand up to Tharoor and match his suave demeanor, charisma, and perhaps his Oxford English. And Rajeev Chandrashekhar perfectly fits the bill.

Rajeev Chandrasekhar has proven his mettle as an entrepreneur and as a politician. His command of English is impeccable, and if not better, he can certainly stand up to Tharoor on that front.

Thiruvananthapuram is going to witness one of the most interesting political contests of this election. What the outcome might be is difficult to predict at this point! But Shashi Tharoor definitely has a much more formidable opponent this time. #Modikaparivar wishes you all the best @Rajeev_GoI



Indian From South

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