Thiruvananthapuram, March 8 (IANS) Mizoram Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan has resigned as the Governor of Mizoram, the Rashtrapati Bhavan said on Friday, and he is likely to be the BJP candidate in the Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha seat now held by Shashi Tharoor of the Congress.
With the Left Democratic Front already announcing the name of senior CPI legislator and former Minister C. Divakaran as its candidate and the two-time MP Tharoor determined to win, a a stiff contest is in the offing in the Kerala capital.
Divakaran accepted that with Rajasekharan jumping into the fray, the contest has turned tough.
“But I am confident that I will win as the LDF can take on both the BJP and the Congress,” he said.
Tharoor told the media that he was least affected as to who his opponents would be.
“Earlier there was speculation that Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself might contest from here. For me, it does not matter as I have been the MP from here for the past 10 years while the BJP has been ruling the country for five years and the Left is ruling Kerala for the past three years. What counts is what one has done here,” he said.
“I will rather not speak anything about the opposing candidates,” he added.
While Tharoor in his first outing in 2009 won the Lok Sabha battle by one lakh votes, in 2014 his margin fell to around 15,000 votes after BJP veteran and former Union Minister O. Rajagopal finished a close second, leaving the CPI far behind.
The Rashtrapathi Bhavan said on Friday that President Ram Nath Kovind had accepted the resignation of Rajasekharan.
“The President is pleased to appoint Jagdish Mukhi, Governor of Assam, to discharge the functions of the Governor of Mizoram, in addition to his own duties, until regular arrangements for the office of the Governor of Mizoram is made,” a communique said.
An aide to Rajasekharan told IANS over phone from Mizoram that he was busy handing over charge and will not speak to the media as of now.
Rajasekharan was the Kerala BJP President when he was appointed the Mizoram Governor last year.
“I have resigned as the party wished that I should be in Kerala. I also wished to be in Kerala and hence I have quit,” Rajasekharan told a Kerala TV channel on Friday.
State BJP President P.S. Sreedharan Pillai said: “This is happy news for the BJP and Sangh Parivar forces.”
In 2016, Rajasekharan finished a close third in the Vatiyurkavu Assembly constituency in the Thiruvananthapuram district. When the Congress won the seat, the CPI-M came second.