New Delhi/Thiruvananthapuram: Former Indian pace bowler S. Sreesanth and several film personalities are in the second list of 51 BJP candidates who will contest the May 16 assembly polls in Kerala from Thiruvananthapuram segment.
The state BJP early this month announced its first list of 22 candidates, including all senior state leaders. The second list of 51 candidates was cleared in the national capital on Friday.
Sreesanth early this week confirmed that he was offered a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket.
On Friday, Sreesanth arrived at the BJP headquarters in Delhi and met with top party leaders. He later announced he had accepted the party membership and will do his best to strengthen the party in Kerala.
Malayalam actor Bheemen Reghu will be BJP candidate from Pathanapuram, to witness a triangular fight between three film stars – sitting legislator K.B. Ganesh Kumar who moved from the ruling United Democratic Front to the Left opposition and Congress’ popular comedian and character artiste Jagdish.
Friday’s BJP list also included the names of veteran film director Rajasenan from Nedumangad and another director Ali Akbar from Koduvally constituency.
The Thiruvananthapuram assembly segment, in the heart of the state capital, is presently held by Congress leader and state Health Minister V.S. Sivakumar and he is all set to contest again. The Left opposition is yet to announce its candidate.
The BJP is yet to open its account in the 140-member assembly.
Sreesanth was banned for life by the Board of Control for Cricket in India after match-fixing allegations. He last played in the 2013 Indian Premier League. He was arrested on charge of match-fixing and lodged in Tihar Jail in Delhi.
In July 2015, a Patiala House court in Delhi exonerated him and two other players in the case, against which Delhi Police have gone in appeal.
While his parents are settled in Ernakulam in Kerala, he keeps shuttling between Bengaluru and Kochi.
Sreesanth played 27 Tests (87 wickets), 53 ODIs (75) and 10 T20Is (seven wickets) and was part of two World Cup winning teams, in the 2007 World Twenty20 and the 2011 World Cup.