Don’t want to react to Muraleedharan’s comments, Mukundan tells TNM

Interview with PP Mukundan BJP needs to shed Hindu party image and be inclusive
news Political Games Saturday, October 24, 2015 - 19:20


The BJP in Kerala is gearing up for local body polls and assembly elections in 2016. Even as the national party is in talks with smaller parties and social organizations for electoral tie-ups, the BJP is also slated to witness an internal shake up in the next few months.

Reports suggest the comeback of veteran Sangh Parivar leaders like PP Mukundan and Raman Pillai to BJP.

The current party leadership is not too enthused about the return, judging from state president V Muraleedharan’s sarcastic reply to a question on their comeback.

When asked about Mukundan and Pillai returning to active politics, Muraleetharan retorted that anyone can join BJP through a missed call. Read detailed story here.

Mukundan, an RSS nominee was once BJP’s organising secretary for Kerala and Tamil Nadu. He has been away from RSS- BJP for the last nine years, but still calls himself an RSS man and has a vision on how to make the lotus bloom in Kerala.

Speaking to TNM he shares his vision and reacts to the controversies plaguing the party.

Are you going back to the BJP?

I don’t know, if the centre asks me I will surely do it.  I have not changed, nor have my ideologies.  I am an RSS man who believes in their ideologies. I worked with the RSS and the BJP for almost 50 years and that too at the National level.

It seems V Muraleedharan is not enthusiastic about your come back, judging from his response at a press meet. Your reaction?

I was a working in the party at national level. Keeping in mind my age and maturity, and being a veteran politician, I know it is always better to keep quiet on these comments.  His (Muraleedharan) tenure as state president will come to an end in December. After that the party will decide who will lead the state unit. The party’s central leadership will also decide on how I should comeback and in what position.

Does BJP lack powerful leaders in Kerala?

To become a leader one has to strive for years and that is a stature one attains after all the hard work. Narendra Modi was not known by many till around two decades ago, but today he is an unparalleded leader. Even Kerala has witnessed the growth and downfall of leaders like K Muraleedharan. Sometimes it is also destiny. Muraleedharan in spite of being Karunakaran’s son and displaying leadership abilities has been reduced to nothing. All the BJP leaders in the state today are young, and as they mature, they will become good leaders.

Do you have a new political formula in mind for the party like you did in 1991 joining hands with Karunakaran (Congress) and Muslim League?

The 1991 model may not work out now as the situation was different then. Though BJP cadres had strived for long, the party was not getting any recognition in the state and so the need for such an alliance rose.

The BJP should focus on social unity, rather than establishing a broad Hindu alliance. People from all religions should be able to fit in the party. The party in Kerala should develop a social perspective rather than a religious one. Both LDF and UDF have been working on such inclusive social ideas. The BJP has not been able to shake the image of being a ‘Hindu party’. The party should become a platform for Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Nairs or Ezhavas to come together. Leaders and all members should be able to accept and respect representatives from all religions in the party.

The party’s ideology supports Hinduism and Hindu culture. But we need to understand that it is India’s culture, Hinduism is our nationality, culture and way of life, not a religion.

Leaders with this kind of an inclusive vision are the ones that can take the party ahead in Kerala.

Will an alliance with the SNDP help?

As I said, not just Ezhavas or SNDP, people from all religions should come to the party just like they flock to LDF and UDF.

There is no point in one particular group joining the party, as there are Ezhavas who are not part of SNDP, just like we have Nairs who are not a part of NSS. So the BJP should not a party open to certain groups, but needs to be inclusive.

Only then BJP can win in Kerala as almost half of the state’s population is non-Hindus.

But why does the BJP want an alliance with someone as controversial as Vellapally Natesan?

I will not comment on Vellappally Natesan joining hands with the party, as this is not the right time.

Though PP Mukundan was diplomatic in his replies on V Muraleedharan, Raman Pillai has told the media that he won’t come back to the party if Muraleedharan continues as president.

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