In a major setback for the official faction led by General Secretary Vellappally Natesan, a rebel panel won 10 seats in the elections to the Sree Narayana Trust director board in Kollam region.
It was the first time in 21 years that a panel against Natesan won seats in the SN Trust elections.
Sree Narayana Trust under Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam, runs numerous educational institutions in Kerala. The headquarters of SN Trust is in Kollam city.
The result was announced on early Monday morning. Those who won the elections from the rebel panel included CPI leader Veliyam Rajan and Raj Mohan, a CPM councillor in the Kollam city corporation.
The election to the Kollam region director board of the Sree Narayana Trust was held on Sunday at the SN College amidst tight police security. The rebel panel, which won 10 out of the total 97 seats, had contested the elections after a legal battle, reported the Times of India.
Winning 10 out of the total 97 seats is a major achievement, which implies voice of dissent will be heard in the Trust in the coming days. Earlier it used to be unopposed in most of the elections, and whenever opposed it had been always a clean sweep for Natesanâ€™s group, according to the Hindu.
Vellappally Natesan was elected as the general secretary of the SNDP Yogam in 1996. Kerala later witnessed his rise as a leader of the Ezhava Community, creating new equations for politics based on caste. He and his men has had an almost unopposed journey in the SNDP Yogam and the institutions under it. He also introduced his son Thushar Vellappally who also dominated the decision making of SNDP Yogam and SN Trust.
Natesan, who had used all tactics to pressurise the two major political fronts in the state, in December 2015 floated a political outfit named Bharath Dharma Jena Sena. BDJS tied up with the BJP in the 2016 Assembly elections, but had little impact on the voters, failing to win even a single seat.