Controversial RSS-backed candidate contesting from Sabarimala constituency K. Surendran had previously used cow slaughter images to stoke controversy

27, Mar 2019 | Sushmita

RSS-backed Kerala BJP state unit general secretary K. Surendran has bagged the important ticket from the Pathanamthitta district situated in Sabarimala. This constituency is based around the Sabarimala temple. He will be contesting against sitting Congress MP Anto Antony and LDF (CPIM led Left Democratic Front) candidate Veena George.

K. Surendran was earlier booked on charges of conspiracy to commit culpable homicide (Section 308) and use of criminal force to outrage the modesty of a woman (Section 354) of the IPC. These charges were related to a “plot to attack a 52-year-old woman” at Sabarimala on November 6. After the Supreme Court passed an order allowing entry of women of all ages, several women had tried to enter the temple premises. They faced severe backlash from protesters organised by Sangh Pariwar.

K. Surendran spent 20 days in jail before Kerala High Court granted him conditional bail, His bail plea got rejected twice earlier. The conditional bail had prohibited him from entering the Pathanamthitta district situated in Sabarimala, for two months. Apart from this, he was also asked to execute a bond of Rs. 2 lakhs, surrender his passport and ensure that he does not commit similar offences. After being released on bail, he had vowed to “continue to participate in protests against ‘violation of traditions’ at Sabarimala through Namajapa protests and peaceful demonstrations.

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K. Surendran started his political career as a member of the student wing of the BJP, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Paishad (ABVP). In November 2014, he dismissed the ‘Kiss of Love’ protest as a “mere transgender protest.” In October 2015, a photo of Surendran showing him eating beef went viral. Surendran had responded to this controversy, saying that he became vegetarian during the election period. Later, he claimed that he had never had beef in his life. He had also denied the analysis that beef exports had risen by 15.4% in India during first year of BJP rule under Prime Minister Modi. In May 2017, Surendran shared a fake photograph to stir sentiments after a calf was allegedly killed by youth Congress leaders. The photo, shared by thousands, was found to be from Bangladesh. He received widespread criticism over this attempt to manipulate sentiments.

K. Surendran’s candidacy looks like a strategic move of the BJP to sweep votes that have been polarised after the Sabarimala protests. As per reports, the BJP is confident of winning this seat.

K. Surendran has previously held the following positions:

  • Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad(ABVP): Unit Secretary, Zamorin’s Guruvayurappan College
  • Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP): Organizing Secretary, Palakkad Nagar (1991–92)
  • Bharatiya Janata YuvaMorcha (BJYM): Waynad District President in 1992, State Secretary (1995–98), State
  • General Secretary from 1999–2003 and State President from 2003–2009
  • BJP State General Secretary from 2009–present
  • under director board member of National Yuva Cooperative Society
  • Director of North Malabar District Co-Operative Marketing Society1997-2002)
  • Advisory Board member, Nehru Yuva Kendra 1999–2004)

 

This story was first published on SabrangIndia.

 

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