Ahead of the crucial bye-election in Kerala's Chengannur, the NDA's second biggest constituent, the Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS) on Sunday decided to continue its "non-cooperation" with the BJP as their demands are yet to be met, said its top leader.
BDJS is the political arm of the SNDP, an organisation that works predominantly for the backward Ezhavas.
Its leader Thushar Vellapally told media after the party leadership's meeting in Chengannur that the BDJS is still part of the NDA, but "due to our demands being not yet met, we have decided to continue our non-cooperation with the BJP".
Our stand in the election will be made in a week's time and till then we will not take part in the ongoing election campaign of the BJP," said Vellapally, the son of SNDP supreme leader Vellapally Natesan.
The BDJS is said to be unhappy with the BJP as it is yet to get the posts "promised" to it when it decided to join the NDA in 2015 as soon as it came into being.
The bye-election, slated to be held on May 28, was necessitated by the death of sitting legislator KK Ramachandran Nair, of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI(M)) in January and is being seen as a prestigious contest, with each of the three rival fronts desperate to win at any cost to prove a point before next year's Lok Sabha polls.
Its here that the BDJS non-cooperation is going to hit the BJP badly as in the 2016 assembly polls, its former state party chief PS Sreedharan Pillai, came a very close third to the sitting Congress legislator PC Vishnunath, who lost to Nair of the CPI(M).
Pillai is again in the fray but non-cooperation from the BDJS, which has a sizeable number of supporters in the constituency, does not augur well for him.
Nair secured 52,880 votes, Vishnunath 44,987 votes and Pillai 42,682 votes in the 2016 polls.