BJP on Thursday created history by scripting a new chapter in south Indian politics as its veteran and former union minister O Rajagopal won from Nemom constituency in Kerala.
With this the saffron party has now made a debut in Kerala assembly.
Rajagopal had lost by a wafer thin margin in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and the last assembly elections.
He defeated the sitting MLA and vibrant CPI(M)-LDF leader V Sivankutty by 8,671 votes
The historic victory, according to PTI, is also a sweet revenge for Rajagopal, as he had lost in the constituency in a photo finish to Sivankutty in the 2011 assembly polls.
Garnering 43,661 votes, he had come second to Sivankutty last time. He had also garnered 50,076 votes in Nemom against Congress’s Shashi Tharoor who got 32,639 in the last Lok Sabha elections.
Who’s O Rajagopal
Popularly known as Rajettan, Rajagopal is considered to be a noble and well meaning person.
As reported by Indian Express, he first contested a Lok Sabha seat in 1980 as a Janata Party candidate from Kasaragod. He faced several more defeats in the years to come. This included a defeats in 2012 Neyyattinkara by-election, assembly election in 2011 from Nemom, 1989 Lok Sabha from Manjeri and 1991, 1999 and 2004 parliamentary polls in Thiruvananthapuram.
His series of defeats notwithstanding, Rajagopal, a staunch follower of the RSS, has been the face of the BJP in Kerala for almost two decades.
He’s also been credited with giving the much needed impetus to the BJP’s organisation in Kerala.
Rajagopal has held union portfolios such Defence and Parliamentary Affairs, Urban Development, Law, Justice and Company Affairs, and Railways as a minister of state in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government at the Centre. He has also been a Rajya Sabha MP from 1992-2004.