In what seems to be a sign of a growing rift within the Kerala unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), two leaders have issued statements against state chief K Surendran, alleging that they were being sidelined. On Monday, veteran BJP leader PM Velayudhan alleged that Surendran had sidelined senior leaders like him in the party. Velayudhan alleged that Surendran had assured him that he would continue to hold the vice president post in the Kerala BJP. He said that Surendran had not kept his word and removed him from the post.
Comparing Surendran’s actions to that of "grown up children dumping their aged parents in an old age home,” Velayudhan told the media that “many others like me were dejected. To express this pain, I have called the state president many times, but he never called back. Though he visited my constituency Perumbavoor many times, he hasn't met me. If we have complaints, Surendran is responsible to hear it."
The senior leader broke down while speaking, as he said that he had stuck to the party’s ideology for many years. "I was jailed twice during the Emergency. Now I am deeply pained," he said. He also alleged that internal reports given by state BJP to the national leadership of the party to decide on certain posts, sidelined certain leaders like him.
Earlier, Kerala BJP Vice President Sobha Surendran had spoken up against Surendran, alleging that he tried to destroy her political career and that she was made state vice president of the party without her permission. "I was working as a member of the national executive and as a state general secretary. After the new president was appointed, breaching all traditions of the party, I was declared a vice president without my permission. Following this, I have raised some issues related to the party," she told the media on October 29.
The developments come even as several reports suggest a major rift within the state unit of the BJP. There were also reports of Sobha Surendran writing a letter to national BJP leaders with complaints against Surendran.
Reacting to the allegations on Monday, K Surendran told the media that he is ready to listen to the complaints. He said that the state leadership will consider the complaints from the senior leaders and will discuss them.
Watch: PM Velayudhan on K Surendran