Kerala

Rift in NDA may benefit LDF

BDJS cites ‘lack of respect’; BJP unhappy with ‘non-cooperation’

The strained relationship between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS), NDA) constituents, is expected to benefit the Left Democratic Front (LDF) in the bypoll to the Aroor Assembly constituency. The LDF is also likely to gain in Konni and three other seats going to bypoll on October 21 from the rift in the NDA.

The BDJS, the second-largest constituent of the NDA in Kerala, which largely represents the influential Ezhava community, is “disenchanted” with its ally BJP as its repeated requests for positions in corporations and for other posts have gone unheeded. The BDJS, which was to contest the Aroor seat, decided to opt out of the bypoll citing ‘lack of respect and cohesion’ within the NDA, forcing the BJP to field its own candidate. Last week, BDJS president Thushar Vellappally publicly criticised the BJP and stated that his party was ready to take extreme steps, an obvious reference to severing ties with the BJP, if the situation demanded.

The pro-LDF stance adopted by Vellappally Natesan, general secretary of the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam, with which the BDJS has close ties, following the help Thushar received from the State government in a cheque bounce case in the UAE only exacerbated the divide between the allies.

‘Non-cooperation’

The BJP is unhappy with the ‘non-cooperation’ of the BDJS in electioneering during the Vengara, Chengannur and Pala bypolls.

“The BJP has failed to keep its promise. The recent talks between the leaderships of the two parties to mend the relationship were inconclusive. We are yet to decide our stance in the upcoming bypolls. As things stand, the relationship between the two NDA allies is set to plummet further,” a BDJS State leader told The Hindu.

In the 2016 Assembly and 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BDJS and BJP candidates, as part of the NDA, secured 27,753 and 25,250 votes in the Aroor Assembly segments respectively. With 40% of total voters in the constituency belonging to the Ezhava community, the rift in the NDA, coupled with the Left-leaning stance of the SNDP, is set to benefit the LDF. The Ezhavas have traditionally supported the Left front in elections. Besides Aroor, the LDF is likely to gain in Konni, where the Ezhava community has a sizeable vote share.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 10:47:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/rift-in-nda-may-benefit-ldf/article29569038.ece

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