Despite repeated attempts, Radhakrishnan, the alleged signee of the circular, could not be contacted. When TNM contacted some of the members mentioned in the circular, all of them denied being party to it.

Did Kerala BJP issue a circular asking cadre to march to Sabarimala Party denies
news Sabarimala Monday, November 19, 2018 - 20:10

On Monday, an eight-page circular, with the letterhead naming Bharatiya Janata Party - Kerala, and a lotus symbol, started circulating in media circles. The document, dated November 17, was reportedly issued by the state BJP to its various cadres from electoral constituencies within 28 'Sangh districts' to take out protests to Sabarimala every day. The supposed protest, mentioned in the circular, is set to begin from November 18 and end on December 15. However, the BJP has now denied that this circular was issued by them.

Allegedly signed by BJP state general secretary AN Radhakrishnan, the circular lists out the leaders assigned to mobilise the cadres as well as the members of each “Sangh”-concentrated “districts”, which has three to four constituencies. In addition to the names, the circular also has phone numbers and the dates to take the protests to Sabarimala.

In fact, the Kerala Advocate General C P Sudhakara Prasad on Monday produced this circular before the Kerala High Court when the state government was pulled up for deploying excess police personnel at Sabarimala. Kerala Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran, too, put up the circular on Facebook to highlight BJP’s “conspiracy”.

“With the help of the media, the people of the state got to see the circulars that were released by the BJP… From this, a planned conspiracy to create an issue in Sabarimala has come out. Even as the Devaswom Board had made it clear that it will approach the Supreme Court seeking time to implement the SC verdict, the BJP is planning to move ahead with its protest activities till December 15, the date mentioned in the circular,” he posted.  

BJP denies issuing circular

However, BJP state president Sreedharan Pillai denied issuing the circular. Speaking to TNM, Sreedharan Pillai said, “This is a deliberate attempt to destroy BJP. We don’t know the manipulations behind this move. BJP is in the midst of a fight, supporting the cause of the devotees. The Communists, who have influence over social media, are spreading such propaganda.”

Other party leaders, too, claimed ignorance of the circular. “This is not true. I have neither received such a circular nor am I aware of it,” MS Kumar, chief BJP spokesperson. MT Ramesh, general secretary of Kerala BJP, too, denied that the party has issued such a circular.  

Despite repeated attempts, Radhakrishnan, the alleged signee of the circular, could not be contacted. When TNM contacted some of the members mentioned in the circular, all of them denied being party to it.

“Going where?” Surendran, a BJP worker who is named as the Thrissur in-charge, asked TNM, when asked for more details about the group going from Thrissur to Sabarimala as per the ‘circular’. “People are just sending circulars randomly. I was in-charge of another event yesterday (Sunday); they have taken that and put it in this circular. The circular is not right. Anyone can go to Sabarimala; Ayyappa devotees all over can go. The party gives charge to different people during protests. There is no particular in-charge for Sabarimala as far as I know.”

“We have not received such a circular. We received the last circular on November 16 regarding 1 crore signatures for the Sabarimala cause. I had organised it,” said G Gopakumar, the Kollam in-charge according to the document, “Even if we get such a circular, we would have received a mail immediately from the party office. Everyone, including the district general secretary, would have received it.”

Jayan, the Ottapalaam in-charge as per the circular, said, “This doesn't seem like a BJP circular. Usually, before the party office issues such a circular, we will have party meetings with the district general secretary, state samiti members, state councillors, district BJP office-bearers, Yuva Morcha and Mahila morcha members. This is how circulars are issued. We are quite stumped by this and are not sure who did this. But, we feel this is an intentional move to create a divide within the party and the devotees. We will speak to Radhakrishnan tomorrow to find out more details about this as it was signed off in his name.”

What the ‘circular’ says

The document doing the rounds reads: “In order to protect the traditions and practices of Sabarimala, all party workers from different constituencies have decided to visit the temple. Based on that, please send as many workers as possible from each constituency. On each day, workers from the constituencies of a particular district should go. The in-charges for each day have been decided. The in-charges are to get in touch with those concerned and finalise the time and place to assemble. In each place, the state committee members, state councillors, (Yuva) morcha state leaders, as well as the area and district leaders of the BJP, are to take leadership of this. From Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha and Idukki constituencies, we will be informing cadres when they will have to reach. Listed below are the details of the constituencies, days, in-charges and office bearers who are to go.”

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