Thiruvananthapuram: Finally after months of dilly dallying, the national leadership of the BJP, on Saturday, named young state party general secretary K. Surendran as its new president of the Kerala unit.
"I will do my best and do justice in the faith that the leadership of the party has placed on me by strengthening the party here at all levels," said Surendran to the media after hearing of his elevation.
The post has been lying vacant since incumbent president P.S. Sreedharan Pillai demitted the post after being appointed as Governor of Mizoram, late last year.
Incidentally, Surendran has been appointed a few weeks before his 50th birthday, is known for his razor sharp tongue and for taking on anyone in the opposition camp.
Surendran is a popular face whenever the party names its candidates for assembly and Lok Sabha polls and in the 2016 assembly polls he gave a fright to the sitting Indian Union Muslim League legislator P.B. Abdul Razak, who won by a mere 89 votes at the Manjeswaram assembly constituency.
He was the party's candidate at the 2019 Lok Sabha polls at the Pathanamthitta seat and also at the Konni Assembly by election, also held last year, but managed to increase the vote share of the party on both occasions, though he finished third.
Surendran is known for his closeness to Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan and that's believed to have tilted the scales towards him, overriding strong campaigning of the faction led by former State president P.K. Krishnadas.
The only success that the BJP in Kerala has had in recent times is the victory of O. Rajagopal at the 2016 assembly polls, thereby opening its account in the 140-member Kerala Assembly.
Surendran's immediate task would be to keep the otherwise faction ridden party united to face the upcoming local bodies polls, to be held later this year.