The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) core committee meeting in Kerala on Friday failed to placate a section of leaders who had raised the banner of revolt against the style of functioning of state president K Surendran, said a senior leader who attended the meet.
In the midst of local body elections, considered a semi-final before the assembly election due in five months, the party central leadership had issued an ultimatum to the state unit to set the house in order and summoned Surendran to Delhi last week.
Dissension in the unit came out in the open after a section was sidelined after the elevation of Surendran. Senior leaders Shobha Surendran, P M Velayudhan and K P Sreesan have expressed their displeasure openly.
In the state unit there are two prominent groups– one led by Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan and the other by senior leader P K Krishnadas. The state president is reported to be close to the junior MEA and the other faction alleged that many senior functionaries were sidelined after his elevation.
But Surendran denied this saying dissension in the party was the creation of a section of the media. “We had the core meeting to discuss strategy for the local body elections. Dissension is only a media creation. The state unit is united and we will face the poll as a single bloc,” he said. But a senior leader among the dissenters said if the party goes to the local body polls in the present condition, the outcome will be disastrous.
There are reports that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is also upset with the growing dissension in the party. Shobha Surendran and many other leaders kept away from the core committee meeting on Friday. When contacted, Shobha Surendran refused to talk.
“Some of the senior leaders who were in the party for long were sidelined for more than seven months. The present leadership failed to recognise people who really toiled. It is the duty of the leadership to take everyone along,” said the senior leader admitting the situation was fluid. He said at least 300 district and block-level leaders were keeping away from active politics. A senior RSS leader also said the political situation was fertile for the party in the backdrop of the gold smuggling and narcotics cases that had gripped the ruling dispensation but infighting is threatening to spoil the party’s chances.