BJP to watch party’s Assembly poll moves

Rattled by allegations of factionalism in the party here, the BJP Central leadership will strictly monitor the selection of candidates for the coming Assembly polls in the State.

Sources say a clear picture on the poll strategy policy will emerge when the BJP national office-bearers meet in Delhi on Sunday to take stock of the political situation in poll-bound States including Kerala.

Although BJP president J.P. Nadda has asked chiefs of the State units to be present at the meeting, party’s State president K. Surendran, busy commencing his Vijay Yatra from Kasaragod, will not take part in the conclave.

However, Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Prahlad Joshi, who is the election in-charge for Kerala, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister C.N. Ashwath Narayan, also in-charge for Kerala, and C.P. Radhakrishnan, party State in-charge (Prabhari), are expected to take part in the meeting.

Already, the Central leadership, the sources say, has received reports about the grim reality of the faction-ridden party in the State, an issue that remains unresolved for over a decade.

More than having to balance the main factions led by Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan and national executive committee member P.K. Krishnadas, the Central leadership now faces a fresh task of dealing with a national executive committee member Sobha Surendran who had raised a banner of revolt against the State leadership.

Now out of the State core committee, Ms. Surendran has portrayed herself as a victim of partisan politics and probably feels the national executive committee reshuffle, due in some days, may not include her.

In the run-up to the polls in 2016, the Central committee had received numerous complaints about the selection of candidates and the arbitrary decision of the State committee in sharing of seats among its two prominent factions. Sources feel, with Assembly elections impending, an intervention was now necessary to reboot the party’s electoral strategy in a wider canvas.

Also, the State unit has been unable to electorally profit by wooing the minorities, especially the Christian community, despite its hyped campaign that the party had fielded a large number of community representatives in the recent local body polls. Besides, it has not been able to cash in on the realignment of political forces taking place occasionally in Kerala, the sources say.

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