Miffed with the unending power tussle in the State unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Central leadership has intervened to bring the two hostile groups led by its State president V. Muraleedharan and national secretary P.K. Krishnadas together.
Senior party sources told The Hindu on Wednesday that the Central leadership had deputed Bandaru Dattatreya, who is in charge of party affairs in Kerala, to visit the State shortly to sort out the issues relating to the newly appointed officer-bearers. This follows complaints submitted by Mr. Krishnadas and senior leader O. Rajagopal to party president Rajnath Singh in Goa last week.
They had also informed him that the State BJP was at loggerheads with the RSS. However, Mr. Dattatreya would have an exhausting time to bring about a truce between the warring sections, the sources said.
Discontented with the sidelining of some senior leaders, the new office-bearers — State general secretary A.N. Radhakrishnan, vice-presidents M.T. Ramesh and Rema Reghunathan — have decided to relinquish their posts. Incidentally, they have submitted their resignations to Mr. Krishnadas and not to the State president.
Both Mr. Krishnadas and Mr. Rajagopal alleged that Mr. Muraleedharan had announced the names of office-bearers without consulting a core-group comprising RSS leaders constituted for the purpose. One of the proposals was to nominate the former national council member M.T. Ramesh as one of the four general secretaries.
A serious charge was that Mr. Muraleedharan had nominated his men in key posts so far announced in the State-level office-bearers and districts presidents. Twelve posts have been nominated out of the 22 State-level posts.
Now only a few posts are remaining in the general category as seven posts are reserved for women and three for Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes. The announcement of the president of Thiruvananthapuram district stands deferred. Leaders such as M.S. Kumar, B. Radhakrishna Menon, N. Gopalakrishnan, N. Sivarajan, and T.P. Jayachandran had been ignored, Mr. Krishnadas said.
However, Mr. Muraleedharan neither confirmed nor refuted the factional feuds in the party. “Internal matters of the party could not be disclosed to the media. We have a mechanism to solve these issues,” he said.
He said that none of the disgruntled newly appointed office bearers had raised complaints with him. “I also do not have a problem with the RSS. The party is not micro managed by the RSS. The BJP is an autonomous functioning unit. But we seek the views of RSS on any issues,” Mr. Muraleedharan said.
Many senior functionaries in the party believe that the culture of nominating members to key posts was unconstitutional. The nominations have been done in the name of consensus.
“The differences of opinion among the State president and others have weakened the party apparatus. The organisational set-up is pathetic with no full timers to work for the party,” he said.