Intra-party squabbles add to confusion within the State unit
Intra-party squabbles in finalising candidates for four Lok Sabha segments are understood to have hampered the progress of seat-sharing parleys in the State unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh as well as the BJP State leadership are pinning their hopes for registering an impressive win in four seats, Thiruvananthapuram, Pathanamthitta, Thrissur, and Palakkad, and have decided to lay accent on the campaign for these seats.
Seat aspirants have made a beeline for Thiruvananthapuram, but with the BJP national leadership zeroing in on former State president Kumanam Rajasekharan at the behest of the RSS, all other probables were forced to relinquish their desire to contest.
Party cadres are reported to have evinced interest in fielding BJP State general secretary K. Surendran, who rose to prominence in the wake of the Sabarimala agitation, either in Pathanamthitta or Thrissur.
Party sources told that with the candidature of State president P.S. Sreedharan Pillai being tossed up for discussions from Pathanamthitta and that of Bharath Dharma Jana Sena leader Thushar Vellappally from Thrissur, Mr. Surendran was left with no options, but to opt out of the race.
Claims laid by national executive member Shoba Surendran and C. Krishnakumar for Palakkad have also added to the confusion for finalising the candidate for the segment, which the party deems to be prestigious.
At the same time, there are no contenders for other seats, mainly Kozhikode, Vadakara, Kannur and even Kasaragod.
Senior leaders are shying from contesting these as well as other seats citing flimsy grounds and that has put the leadership in a quandary, sources said.
The candidature of Thushar is reportedly being bandied about as part of a strategy.
Since Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam general secretary Vellappally Natesan has offered support for the Left Democratic Front, the BJP sees a serious BDJS candidate in Thushar to cast an impression that the National Democratic Alliance is still in tact in the State and also frustrate the Left campaign against the alliance.
Despite BJP president Amit Shah mounting pressure, Thushar has not revealed his cards so far.
The differences of opinion within the party and the diffidence of the BDJS in entering the fray have virtually left the BJP leadership in a state of confusion, sources said.