K. Surendran (born 10 March 1970) is an Indian politician who is one of the six general secretaries of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Kerala state. He has more than once run unsuccessfully for election to both the national and the state legislatures.
K. Surendran was born to Kunhiraman and Kalyani on 10 March 1970 in Ulliyeri, Kozhikode, Kerala.
He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Zamorin's Guruvayurappan College, Kozhikode. He started his political career through Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the student wing of Bharatiya Janata Party.During the earlier stages of his political career he held various positions such as Director North Malabar District co operative Marketing Society, President, Desa Seva Samskarika Kendram, Founder Director Board member National Yuva co operative Society and Advisory Board member Nehru Yuva Kendra.
A 2016 newspaper report said that K. Surendran, originally from Kozhikode, had moved to Kasaragod many years earlier, and had taken the effort to learn the Tulu and Kannada languages to better communicate with the local people.
The BJP as of August 2016 said he was a social worker with a BSC degree aged 44, and was one of the state general secretaries for Kerala.
Protests and accusations
K. Surendran became Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM – Indian People Youth Front) state president. As BJYM state president K. Surendran led a march in October 2009 protesting unemployment and a ban on government hiring. Several people were injured when police forcibly prevented the marchers from entering the Secretariat. In August 2010 K Surendran was among the leaders of a BJP march to the Popular Front of India centre in Manjeri, Malappuram, Kerala. The police stopped the march and arrested the leaders. In April 2013 Surendran spoke out against dropping the investigation by the Vigilance and Anti-corruption Bureau into the transfer of Kovalam Halcyon Castle and land from India Tourism Development Corporation, speaking of conspiracy and corruption behind the proposal.
During the row over the 2013 Kerala solar panel scam, in July 2013 K Surendran demanded that the telephone call records of Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan be released. He alleged that Radhakrishnan had tipped off Saritha Nair just before she was to be arrested in the Solar fraud case. He also alleged that Chief Minister Oommen Chandy was trying to protect former staff members against whom serious allegations had been made. Later in July 2013 the son of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy threatened to sue K. Surendran for an allegation that he was connected to a Solar energy company, calling for Surendran to withdraw the accusation and apologise publicly.
In August 2013 Surendran said the 21-page statement prepared in jail by Saritha S Nair had been cut down to three and a half pages, and asked what had happened to the longer draft. In November 2013 Saritha Nair, the main person accused in the Solar scam, threatened to lodge a complaint against K Surendran and others for allegations of sexual misconduct. In March 2015 Surendran told an investigating commission that K. Harikrishnan, the first to investigate the Solar scam case, had been paid to hide video evidence.
In November 2013 K. Surendran said relatives of Muslim League legislator C. Moyinkutty had been involved in forest encroachment cases, and Moyinkutty had conspired to destroy related documents. In July 2014 K Surendran said the Kerala government had been slow to submit requests for the Centre for projects.
He also said that they were taking undue credit for the release of 46 nurses from Iraq.
On 16 April 2009 K. Surendran was a Lok Sabha candidate for Kasaragod in the national elections. After the election he said the leaders of Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) should explain how the son of E. P. Jayarajan, the CPI-M member of the legislative assembly, had been injured when handling explosives after polling ended that day. The BJP had its best results in Kasargod to date in this election, with K. Surendran winning 125,482 votes, or 14.81%. However, he said, "We are here not to show the strength, but to win."
In the 2011 state elections for the Manjeshwar constituency P. B. Abdul Razak of the Indian Union Muslim League won 37.46% of the votes and K. Surendaran of the BJP came second with 33.8% of the votes. He was ahead of the third place C. H. Kunhambu of the CPI-M with 26.37%. P. B. Abdul Rasaq was elected with a margin of 5,828 votes.
In February 2014 it was reported that senior BJP members in Kerala were opposed to the decision that K. Surendran should again be the BJP's Lok Sabha candidate for the Kasaragod constituency. His candidacy was apparently announced in Kasargod by the former national president Venkaiah Naidu before being reviewed by the election committee, drawing criticism from Shobha Surendran of the national executive and from state president V. Muraleedharan. K. Surendran was placed on the list of candidates prepared by the state election committee at the end of February. He competed in a triangular contest between the BJP, the Communists and the Indian National Congress. The election was won by P. Karunakaran of the CPI-M with 384,964 votes, followed by Thuvacode Siddique of the Indian National Congress with 378,043 votes. K. Surendran came third with 172,826 votes. This was still considered a notable result, a significant gain over the 2009 result, that may have been helped by Narendra Modi having campaigned in the constituency.
As of 2016 Surendran was one of the six general secretaries of the Kerala BJP. In March 2016 it was reported that the BJP would probably make Surendran their candidate for the Thiruvananthapuram constituency in the forthcoming state assembly elections. However, Surendran was said to prefer to run for the Manjeshwar constituency in Kasaragod, where he had done well in the previous state elections. In May 2016 Surendran was defeated by a small margin in an election for the Manjeshwar seat. He lost by 89 votes to P. B. Abdul Razak of the Indian Union Muslim League. It was reported that Surendran had been handicapped by resistance to his mode of operation from older party leaders.
In July 2016 Surendran asked the Kerala High Court to cancel the Manjeswaram election due to malpractices.
In November 2014 Surendran dismissed the "Kiss of Love" protest as "a mere transgender protest". He said the media should have paid less attention, since the only aim of the protest was to create social chaos and confusion.
In October 2015 a photograph of K Surendran eating a meal was published on Facebook captioned "Kerala BJP leader eating beef". When the photo went viral, Surendran responded that it was only an onion curry, and said that in an election period he was strictly vegetarian. Later he said he had never eaten beef in his life. He also said it was untrue that beef exports had risen by 15.4% in India during the first year of the BJP government led by Narendra Modi. That month Shobha Surendran, a member of the national executive, said the BJP did not oppose selling or eating beef in Kerala, but did object to beef festivals being organised in educational institutions.
In a July 2015 Facebook exchange with Congress legislator V. T. Balram, Surendran said Balram needed tuition in Hindi. On 14 December 2015 Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Kerala and spoke in Hindi to BJP activists in Thrissur. K Surendran translated his speech, but made errors, left out key points, got lost and was eventually replaced by the BJP state president, V. Muraleedharan. Surendran was quickly attacked on social media for his problems with Hindi.
In May 2016 Surendran asked why some members of Pinarayi Vijayan's cabinet were avoiding use of state-provided vehicles that had the number 13, apparently for superstitious reasons.
K. Surendran has 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 Yuva Morcha (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)
He is married to Sheeba Surendran and has two children, Hari Krishnan and Gayathri Devi.