THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Even as he reiterated that dissident leader Sobha Surendran would be at the forefront to lead the BJP in the upcoming elections, state president K Surendran seems to be in no mood to walk the talk anytime soon.
While attempting to put up a show of unity, the state leadership has chosen to brush under the carpet the dissidents' main demand that leaders of all factions should be given befitting responsibilities in the party.
This has added further credence to the argument that Surendran extended the olive branch to the dissenting leaders not on his own will but at the firm direction of the central leadership. Meanwhile, leaders in the Sobha Surendran camp told TNIE that they would settle for nothing less than a thorough organisational revamp.
However, it is learnt that they have been advised by the central leadership to lie low and avoid any controversial statements for the time being. Interestingly, the party’s core committee - the apex decision making body at the state-level has not been convened ever since the dissidence issue blew out in the open.
On Thursday night, Surendran convened an online meeting of the state office bearers reportedly to gauge the mood in the organisation. It is reliably learnt that 25 state office bearers kept away from the meeting. Besides Sobha, many senior leaders, including former state presidents also stayed away as a mark of protest.
"If a core committee meeting of the party is held now as directed by the central leadership, Surendran may find himself on a sticky wicket. It is learnt that past presidents of the party, who are also members of the core committee, would demand a discussion on the current factional issues and an early resolution of the disputes," said a senior leader who preferred anonymity.
According to sources, Surendran wants to buy time till the local body elections are over, a reason why he made sudden overtures to the dissidents, taking them by surprise. On the other hand, the dissident leaders want their issues to be addressed at the earliest. It is learnt that the dissidents may be called for discussion by the central leadership once the Diwali holidays are over.
CPM trying to rig local body poll: BJP
THIRUVANANTAPURAM: The BJP has accused the CPM of trying to rig the local body elections in its favour by including lakhs of voters in the electoral roll during the past few days of the enrolment drive.
BJP state president K Surendran told reporters that the ruling party was carrying out large-scale irregularities in the voters' list by reducing the State Election Commission's role to that of a mute spectator. "In many wards, same name has appeared more than once in the electoral roll. Such irregularities are being carried out by officials having allegiance to the CPM," Surendran said.
He urged the State Election Commission to bring clarity on postal vote facility. "The BJP will fiercely resist attempts to hijack votes of those above the age of 60 through postal ballot," Surendran said and demanded that clearcut guidelines on postal voting be laid down.