Kummanam Rajasekharan was appointed as the Governor of Mizoram on Friday.

Kummanam Rajasekharans appointment as Guv Elevation or strategic removal from Kerala unit
news Politics Saturday, May 26, 2018 - 14:16

Senior BJP leader from Kerala, Kummanam Rajasekharan, who has been the President of the state unit of the party for the past three years, was appointed as the Governor of Mizoram on Friday. 

While the state unit sees this as a surprise move, what does this decision mean for Kummanam and his political career? And more importantly, how will this affect the BJP's activities in Kerala, a state where the party is hoping to make inroads?

Although BJP state unit says it consider's the move as a reward for the activities of the party in Kerala, political commentators think differently. 

Chennai-based senior journalist and political critic BRP Bhaskar says that at one level, the move is in keeping with the standard practice of the BJP, of accommodating party people in the Rajbhavan. 

"When the present government came to power, we have noticed that there is a tendency to bring in hardcore RSS leaders.They are apparently preferred, in my view, becuase they will be less concerned about constitutional niceties and will be more willing to do the party's bidding," he said. 

For this very reason, Kummanam being considered for a gubernatorial post is understandable, Bhaskar added. 

However, Thiruvananthapuram-based political critic J Prabhash feels that Kummanam being appointed as the Governor of Mizoram is in no way an elevation for the senior leader, but is a means of shunting him out of the Kerala unit. 

"For a leader like Kummanam, who is in active politics, making him the Governor is not a positive move at all. That will end his political career, as we have seen in the past happening with other leaders," Prabhash says.

He sees it as the result of the internal conflicts in the Kerala BJP with regard to power sharing. 

BRP Bhaskar feels that the question of whether this move is intended to bring up someone else in the organisation itself is valid. 

"That kind of a suspicious remains in the mind of the people of Kerala because of a historical background. People remember that when the Congress and the PSP where running the government together, Pattom Thaanupillai, the PSP leader who was the CM, was moved out as Governor of another state. This was done to make room for the Congress leader R Shankar to become the CM," Bhaskar adds. 

Kummanam's tenure as the head of Kerala BJP

Having started his political career as an RSS pracharak, Kummanam subsequently headed the Hindu Aikyadevi before he was appointed as the President of the Kerala BJP in 2015. 

Until then a lesser-known leader, Kummanam has done a decent job as the head of the state unit, Bhaskar feels. 

"But the party is clearly divided, there are various forces at work within it. Everything the party does should be seen in the context of BJP's agenda. Kerala is high up in the central leadership's agenda and everything they do is to make inroads in the state," he adds. 

J Prabhash on the other hand, evaluates Kummanam's tenure as the head of the party in Kerala, as weak. His activities in the state were seen as less aggressive and this could have drastically contributed to his removal from the state unit, Prabhash says. 

"BJP's agenda in the rest of the country is aggressive politics. Kummanam knows that this approach will not help the party in Kerala. His performance was not at par with the expectations of the central leadership," Prabhash explains. 

For the BJP in Kerala, the next big task is the appointment of the President, who will replace Kummanam. Multiple reports quote sources as saying that party general secretary K Surendran stands a fair chance, considering his aggressive and vocal nature. 

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