Kerala Mayor sparks controversy by endorsing BJP candidate

Thrissur Mayor backs BJP's Suresh Gopi for Lok Sabha elections
Kerala Mayor sparks controversy by endorsing BJP candidate

The mayor of the CPI(M)-led Thrissur Municipal Corporation in Kerala sparked controversy by expressing support for BJP candidate Suresh Gopi from the Thrissur seat in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Gopi, a well-known Malayalam actor, visited Thrissur Mayor M K Varghese at his chambers on Friday. Following the meeting, Varghese told reporters, “Not just anyone can become an MP. A person should have certain qualities. Such a person should step into the public, should work for the people, and should stand with them. He should understand the requirements of the people. Suresh Gopi has all the qualities to become MP of Thrissur. He is fit to get elected.”

The mayor's statement comes amidst accusations between Kerala’s ruling CPI(M) and the Opposition Congress of having links with the BJP.

In response to the mayor’s comments, K Muraleedharan, the Congress candidate from Thrissur, alleged a “nexus” between the CPI(M) and the BJP.

“The words of Mayor Varghese revealed the mind of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. There is a clear undercurrent between CPI(M) and BJP in Thrissur. Sunil Kumar, who is contesting for the Left, should explain why he is contesting under the banner of the LDF (Left Democratic Front, the ruling alliance in the state). If Left voters are keen to defeat BJP, they should come out in support of Congress,” he said.

Thrissur is witnessing a triangular contest this time. The BJP has fielded Suresh Gopi, and the LDF has fielded former minister V S Sunil Kumar, a CPI leader. Following the entry of Padmaja Venugopal, daughter of late Congress veteran K Karunakaran, into the BJP last month, the Congress also increased its presence by nominating her brother, Muraleedharan – currently the MP from Vadakara – as its candidate from Thrissur.

All seats in Kerala are scheduled to go to the polls on April 26 – during the second phase of the Lok Sabha election.