Kerala

Internal squabbles sinks BJP rule at Pandalam municipality

Nearly two years after it scripted history by single-handedly winning a majority in the municipal council here, the Bharatiya Janata Party is staring at a major crisis at Pandalam, sinking the civic body into administrative paralysis.

Compounding internal difficulties for the ruling front, a factional war is raging between the municipal chairperson Susheela Santosh and the BJP parliamentary party leader K.V. Prabha. Notwithstanding the dismay expressed by the BJP leadership at the factional jostling, both sides appear unwilling to declare a detente in the interests of the party.

Troubles within the BJP, which has 18 seats in the council, came to the fore last month when the faction led by Mr.Prabha staged a protest against the municipal secretary to disrupt an emergency council meeting. The raging stand-off, however, reached a flash point earlier this month following a shouting match that broke out between the chairperson and Mr.Prabha inside the municipal council hall.

With a video of the altercation going viral in the social media, the episode has also stirred up protests by the Left Democratic Front and the United Democratic Front, turning each council meeting into a damp squib . Exacerbating the crisis for the ruling front, Radhakrishnan Unnithan, a CPI(M) rebel who had sided with the BJP till recently, returned to the LDF fold.

Attempts by the BJP leadership, including that of the State president K.Surendran, to work out a way through the crisis are yet to bear any results. The faction led by Ms.Santosh, meanwhile, has also drawn ire of the BJP leadership for abstaining from a consensus meeting on August 5 and has now been served with show-cause notices for the same.

When contacted, BJP district president V.A. Sooraj chose not to comment for the time being. “This is not the right time to pass a comment. We will come to the press on Tuesday,’‘ he said.

Sources , however, said the chairperson’s faction had the solid backing of the RSS leadership and hence stands unfazed. “It was a long time coming, ever since the appointment of Ms.Santosh- a newbie, as the chairperson,’‘ claimed a BJP councilor, on condition of anonymity.

Though it used to command a strong presence in and around, BJP was pushed to the third place in the municipality during the previous assembly elections. The seething troubles within the party also prompted a handful of its active workers to switch sides to the CPI(M).


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Printable version | Sep 6, 2022 4:34:52 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/internal-squabbles-sinks-bjp-rule-at-pandalam-municipality/article65768639.ece