From Mizoram, BJP leader Kummanam Rajasekharan, headed back to Kerala to drive the party in Lok Sabha election. Is there none to raise the stakes for the BJP in this crucial election especially when Sabarimala has turned out to be the Ayodhya of the south? Rajasekharan speaks exclusively to MyNation.
Thiruvananthapuram: Kummanam Rajasekharan returned to Kerala on March 12 after resigning as the Mizoram Governor. He served as the president of the BJP in Kerala in 2015 and the party leader is now back in action to contest the Lok Sabha elections. His resignation assumes significance with fingers pointing to the fact that BJP is running out of a prominent face to lead the race. And this at a time when BJP's prospects are several notches up having taken Sabarimala as the key issue.
After entering the state, Rajasekharan kick started his journey into state politics with a visit to Sabarimala. Soon after, he took time out to speak exclusively to MyNation. While he said that his strong desire to partake in socio-political work in Kerala drove him to call it quits in Mizoram, Rajasekharan vehemently denied that the party failed to find strong local leadership.
Reports stated that the current president Sreedharan Pillai has been unable to tap into the momentum and raise the stakes for the BJP in this crucial election especially when Sabarimala has turned out to be the Ayodhya of the south. Will the party look for a change in leadership? "There were no complaints. We stand united. We will fight this election with one mind, soul and intention," said Rajasekharan.
After actor Mohanlal's meeting with PM Modi, sources said that the BJP was focusing on wooing the superstar into politics to drive the party to open its account in the Parliamentary election. In the 2016 Assembly election, BJP created history by winning one seat. "Mohanlal has that clout and wields that influence among people of the state. But I think he is apolitical," said Rajasekharan, while adding that the party made no efforts to approach the actor.
Kerala needs an alternative movement at this point in time, said Rajasekharan. "LDF and UDF have a hidden agenda. Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan as well as UDF leaders have respectively said that their aim is to defeat the BJP. Thus, they will come together to form an unholy alliance. We have seen that in West Bengal," he said.
But, the BJP has always been fighting against the government that wants to take control over religious institutions, especially Sabarimala. Despite the Election Commission's order that bans parties from using Sabarimala as a poll issue, Rajasekharan said, "Sabarimala is not a poll issue or a political issue. It is a people's issue. We are fighting for the devotees' rights that is according to what is present in the Constitution of India."
BJP is also pinning its hopes on the Supreme Court that has reserved its verdict on the review petitions. "More than the court's verdict, the question is also about the LDF's involvement in human rights violation. Why were so many people arrested? When I visited the Sabarimala, prohibitory orders were in place. Why?" questioned Rajasekharan.
The September 28 verdict of the Supreme Court in 2018 turned Sabarimala into a battlefield. Will history repeat itself in 2019 if the verdict based on the review petitions is unfavourable to the BJP? "I don't answer hypothetical questions," said Rajasekharan.
Apart from Sabarimala, the BJP is all set to raise questions against the inaction of the ruling government in various fields such as "education, health, business and more". The Centre has helped Kerala in various schemes, said Rajasekharan. However, will PM Modi visit Sabarimala? The decision is still pending, he said.
While BJP drew a zero in the recent bypolls in Kerala, the party leader said that the vote shares have been seeing growth year-on-year with every election. Reports suggest that Rajasekharan is looking to contest the Lok Sabha election from Thiruvananthapuram, but the former Mizoram Governor said, "Whatever the party decides, I will abide by it."
Sonia Gandhi's aide Tom Vadakkan recently quit the Congress and joined the BJP. The new entrant is also eyeing a Lok Sabha seat in Kerala. "This move is certainly a boost for the party's morale in the state," said Rajasekharan.
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Last Updated Mar 16, 2019, 7:34 PM IST