Proxy fight in BJP to the fore again

The perceived proxy fight in the BJP between two prominent leaders in the State appeared to come to the fore again on Saturday.

BJP State president K. Surendran seemed at extreme odds with national general secretary Sobha Surendran’s take on Indian Union Muslim League (IUML).

In an interview with a prominent Malayalam daily, Ms. Surendran had welcomed the IUML to the NDA fold.

However, the rider to her invite was that the party should embrace nationalism and ‘integral humanism’ as propounded by RSS ideologue Deendayal Upadhyaya. (The stream of political thought promotes subservience to the nation above all, welfarism, self-rule and self-reliance.)

However, Mr. Surendran seemed to disagree. He portrayed IUML as a communal party that paved the way for the creation of Pakistan before Independence. He purportedly compared the IUML to a leopard that can’t change its spots at a public meeting in Thrissur.

At the same time, BJP veteran and former Mizoram governor Kummanam Rajasekharan appeared to back Ms. Surendran. He said NDA welcomed any party which accepted its political programme.

The intra-party dispute over the IUML question appeared to reflect a deeper ideological rift in the State-unit of the BJP.

At least some leaders believed that the NDA had to find credible allies in the sizeable Muslim community if it aspired to present itself as a plausible alternative to the LDF and UDF.

Currently, the BJP had attempted to build bridges with the Christian community. It required to do the same with the Muslim population. However, the BJP had stridently campaigned for a law against ‘Love Jihad’ and equated the IUML with Islamist parties.

They pointed out that the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in 1999 had incorporated Farooq Abdullah’s Jammu and Kashmir National Conference as a key ally. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP had found partners in former separatist parties in the North East.

Ms. Surendran had broken out of her political hibernation recently.

She had led a ‘solitary’ struggle for striking PSC rank holders and arranged for their leaders to meet Governor Arif Mohammed Khan. In the process, Ms. Surendran had come under criticism from within the party for ‘self-promotion’ and ‘creation of a personality cult.’

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Printable version | Apr 22, 2021 9:03:26 PM |

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