BJP South Zone vice-president Ashwinidev’s suspension from the party following leakage of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s speech at the state leadership meeting here on September 25 is likely to further aggravate the factional feud in the party in the coming days.
Ashwinidev has admitted to the leadership that he had received a call from a television channel reporter during Modi’s speech. But the fact that the woman reporter of the channel, which aired the sound track of the speech, was a former ABVP activist and she had talked to four or five leaders during Modi’s speech had been overlooked and only Ashwinidev was made a scapegoat, it has been pointed out. The channel reporter, a former reporter of BJP mouthpiece Janmabhumi, was a frequent visitor to the party’s state headquarters here. There have been reports that she had resorted to such acts on many occasions in the past with several leaders holding important positions falling prey to her tricks. “The faction opposed to BJP state president V Muralidharan had raised the demand for his resignation. A hasty decision was taken to suspend Ashwinidev as Muralidharan wanted to save his own chair,’’ a highly-placed source in the party told ‘Express.’ ‘’It is not the first time that the BJP leaders are leaking out party matters to the media. Even the details of the core committee meetings had been leaked out. Here, Modi’s speech had nothing to be kept a secret. Moreover, many party leaders who had not been issued passes to attend the meeting had asked their friends to let them hear the speech over mobile phone. None of these leaders has to face action as they were acting in good faith,’’ a leader who sympathised with Ashwinidev, who has been working for the party for last 30 years, said. Meanwhile, the faction opposed to Muralidharan has started demanding action against all those who found guilty in the incident.
Campaign against O Rajagopal
Meanwhile, a section of the leadership has covertly started a campaign through the social media against O Rajagopal who is likely to be fielded from T’Puram LS constituency. Rajagopal’s old age has been cited as his drawback. The section of leaders opposed to Rajagopal also want to field party state general secretary K Surendran here. When asked about this campaign, BJP national executive member P S Sreedharan Pillai said actually the people were not against the BJP. If the party put up a united fight with mutual trust there are chances for the party coming out with good results, he said. “See, in 2004, NDA could sent two MPs from Kerala and Lakshadweep to the Lok Sabha. The situation that had led to the triumph should be revisited,’’ he pointed out. He further said that in 2005 local body elections, the party could get majority in five grama panchayats and one municipality. It is time for the party leadership to honestly reevaluate those situations that helped the party claim gains instead of engaging in self destructive feuds, Sreedharan Pillai said.