Bid to unseat him did not find favour with the BJP central leadership
The collective efforts of a group of senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders to thwart the continuation of V. Muraleedharan as State president do not seem to have made any impact on the central leadership which is understood to have resolved to give him another term.
A majority of the 11-member BJP core committee members during the course of their discussions with party secretary P. Muralidhar Rao who reached here on Saturday for final round of consultations on the State organisational elections tried to put Mr. Muraleedharan in the dock by alleging that the State unit had become weak under his tutelage and he was acting in a dictatorial manner. The faction opposed to the official leadership had a meeting in the morning before holding consultations with Mr. Rao.
Mr. Rao met the core committee members individually to elicit their views about the state of affairs of the party and all of them, except former State president C.K. Padmanabhan, were understood to have stuck to their stance for removing Mr. Muraleedharan. They were understood to have complained that Mr. Muraleedharan, on taking over as president, had become inaccessible to the rank and file.
The organisational structure had turned weak and the State unit was being managed by his coterie. Mr. Padmanabhan was understood to have adopted a dispassionate stance on the leadership issue.
Senior leaders O. Rajagopal, K.V. Sreedharan, P.S. Sreedharan Pillai, P.K. Krishnadas, A.N. Radhakrishnan, K.P. Sreesan, K. Surendran, K.R. Umakantan, and M.T. Ramesh were among those who held discussions with Mr. Rao.
Party sources told The Hindu that the Central leadership had chosen to give a semblance of democracy in the functioning of the party and decided to elicit the views of senior leaders on the organisational issues. It also resolved to ensure the continuance of Mr. Muraleedharan for yet another term.
The Central leadership is understood to have summoned a senior RSS leader who is in charge of the organisational affairs of the State BJP unit to Bangalore recently and apprised him of its decision.
Mr. Rao’s brief was to give a patient hearing to the leaders, report the Central leadership’s decision, and convince them of the need to give another term for Mr. Muraleedharan. The Central leadership would announce its decision soon, sources said.