Senior BJP Kerala leader Sobha says she will not contest assembly polls

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Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 18 (PTI) As the BJP is in search of new faces to field in the coming Kerala assembly polls, senior party leader Sobha Surendran on Thursday said she was not contesting the elections this time.

Sobha Surendran, who had abstained from campaigning during recent civic polls owing to reported differences with state party chief K Surendran, said she has already conveyed to the party's state and central leaderships about her decision.

'I am not contesting the assembly polls. This has been conveyed to my state and central leaderships months ago,' she said while participating in a protest at the state secretariat here in solidarity with the Public Service Commission (PSC) rank holders agitating against the LDF government seeking extension of ranklists published by the commission.

Her statement came as the BJP is set to launch its 'Vijay Yatra' from Kasargod to Thiruvananthapuram on February 21 as part of its outreach programme ahead of the polls.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will inaugurate the two-week long yatra being undertaken under the leadership of K Surendran.

Reacting to Sobha's announcement, Surendran said in Kozhikode that discussions regarding the party candidates to be fielded in the elections would be held only after the completion of the yatra.

Pressed further by reporters, he said, 'she has said so.

There is no need to give a reply to that'.

Sobha was abstaining from the party's programmes after being relegated as state-vice president from general secretary, but started attending the party meetings since BJP president J P Nadda's visit to the state recently. PTI TGB VS VS