THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the state due for Assembly elections barely a few months from now, the state BJP is likely to witness a change of guard. And if indeed the attempts to prevail upon Hindu Aikya vedi general secretary Kummanam Rajasekharan to take on the mantle were to bear bruit, he might well take over as the new chief of the state BJP.
Kummanam has been summoned to New Delhi where he will meet BJP national chief Amith Shah on Wednesday. However, Kummanam is none too keen on taking up the BJP chief’s job as has been revealed by his repeated disinclination to enter party politics. According to Sangh Parivar sources, Kummanam has told the Sangh leadership that he does not want to become the state BJP president as he is more interested in functioning as a unifying force behind the Hindu Aikya vedi. Moreover, Kummanam has given a new face to Sangh activities with the thrust on green politics.
His pioneering leadership and unrelenting stand had helped Aranmula Paithruka Samrakshana Samithy to block Aranmula Airport project, daring mighty KGS Group which had the patronage of the erstwhile UPA Government and the state government. Even though the Sangh leadership had been toying with the idea of roping in Kummanam,giving him a BJP assignment, he was reluctant to play ball.
But Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked Kummanam to meet him during his Kochi visit and it is believed that Modi directed the Hindu Aikya Vedi leader to take up the assignment. And it was on Modi’s direction that Kummanam had been summoned to New Delhi.
Meanwhile, R Balasankar, former editor of Sangh mouthpiece, Organiser, who is currently the national co-convener of the BJP media cell is also a contender for the high-profile job.
Hailing from Chengannur, Balasankar had functioned as Officer on Special Duty under Murali Manohar Joshi ,while the latter was Union HRD Minister in the erstwhile A B Vajpayee-led NDA I Government. However, his proximity to the BJP central leadership alone is unlikely to secure him the top job.
Balasankar’s major handicap, though, is his lack of experience in state politics which is already polarised along LDF and UDF lines, with the BJP struggling to make inroads.The BJP’s growth in the state , as of now , is steady and shows signs of further gains with the Assembly elections just round the corner. In such a scenario, the party leadership would want a more seasoned leader with mass base to occupy the president’s post. Besides, the name of the party’s National Executive member P K Krishnadas, who had earlier served as state BJP chief, is doing the rounds as a presidential hopeful.Fellow BJP National Executive member Sobha Surendran,state general secretaries
M T Ramesh, A N Radhakrishnan and K P Sreeshan have got a look-in from the BJP brass. But by the time the state heads to the hustings most likely by April-May, the BJP national leadership will have zeroed in on the party’s new chief from among Kummanam, Krishnadas and Balasankar.