As BJP fumbles on Sabarimala, leadership turns to Kummanam

As BJP fumbles on Sabarimala, leadership turns to Kummanam
A section of leaders argue that the BJP would not have dragged its feet in the Sabarimala controversy had Kummanam been on top
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Thiruvananthapuram: BJP leader Kummanam Rajasekharan may see his stint as Mizoram governor cut short as the party leadership mulls sending him back to Kerala to spearhead a campaign against the Supreme Court order allowing women to go to the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple.

A section of leaders within the BJP and Sangh Parivar affiliates have urged the central leadership to let Kummanam lead the party in the state. They argue that the BJP would not have dragged its feet in the Sabarimala controversy had Kummanam been on top. The leader is known to have close ties with various Hindu organisations.

The central government may have to reconsider its decision to let Kummanam enjoy his stint as governor until the general election next year. He may have to return to Kerala in January after the formation of the Mizoram state government in December. The BJP and RSS top brass are not happy with the way their local units have handled the contentious Sabarimala issue.

Though the BJP jumped into the bandwagon against the order, it lost the early-bird advantage. It is yet to organise a mass movement to put the state government in the defensive.

As BJP fumbles on Sabarimala, leadership turns to Kummanam
Rallies were taken out by Hindu outfits Wednesday against the LDF-led Kerala government's decision to implement the Supreme Court verdict on Sabarimala,

Kummanam had attended an annual meeting of the Ayyappa Seva Samajam in New Delhi recently. The delegates later met RSS supremo Mohan Bhagawat and BJP chief Amit Shah to apprise them of the situation in Kerala.

The party decided to intensify its stir on the matter after the Delhi meeting. The delegates told Bhagawat and Shah that Kummanam's presence in Kerala is likely to energise the party cadre. Sources close to Kummanam said he too wanted to return to Kerala.

Kummanam was picked as Mizoram governor on May 25, three days ahead of the crucial Chengannur assembly byelection in Kerala. The decision took even Kummanam by surprise. He later accepted the post as per the wishes of the central leadership.

Kummanam worked with the Food Corporation of India from 1976 to 1987 before plunging to the communal politics of Kerala with an agitation at Nilakkal. As the Hindu Aikya Vedi convener, he led an agitation against a proposed airport at Aranmula in 1992. He succeeded V Muraleedharan as the BJP's Kerala president in December 2015.

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