On the eve of the meeting of core BJP leaders from Kerala with party president Amit Shah in New Delhi on Wednesday, factionalism within the Kerala BJP unit has emerged regarding who will be the next BJP state president.
With the outgoing president V Muraleedharan backing Hindu Aikya Vedi State general secretary Kummanam Rajasekharam as his successor, things may come to a head with R Balashankar -former editor of Organiser (RSS mouthpiece) -projected as the central leadershipâ€™s nominee.
BJP leaders at the Centre feel that Kummanam may be at a disadvantage when it comes to wooing Kerala Christians, while Balashankar with his intellectual persona, may prove a better choice in this regard.
Going by the saffron thinkers, Balashankar as state president could help the BJP expand its alliance base in Kerala while also connecting with the masses.
This may however not go down well with the Muraleedharan faction, as such a move would undoubtedly pave the way for senior leader PP Mukundanâ€™s comeback in the BJP state unit.
The Centre may however consider both candidates for prominent roles in the upcoming Kerala Assembly elections in a bid to stave off an unwanted rift between the BJP state and central leadership.
To further add to the imbroglio, the RSS leadership had earlier recommended the names of national executive members PK Krishnadas and Shoba Surendran as alternate choices for the post of state president.
A surprise dark horse may actually save the day for the BJP in Kerala, which is staring at the threat of factionalism in the state leadership.