Kozhikode/Kochi: BJP Kerala president P S Sreedharan Pillai had a tough time at the leadership meeting the other day. Pillai was flayed for his reference to the Sabarimala agitation as a 'golden opportunity' and terming it as 'BJP agenda,' which was seen as having prompted devotees to keep away.
It was also pointed out that the decision to shift Sabarimala agitations to Thiruvananthapuram has not gone down well among party followers. A reasoning offered at the meeting was that the RSS, ideological mentor of the BJP, has ordered the party out of protests at Sabarimala.
The state leadership was blamed as the BJP looked helpless with the state government piling up 'false' cases on party secretary K Surendran. Critics also slammed Pillai for being at Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode when the agitation was on at Nilakkal, the base camp for Sabarimala devotees.
State leaders M T Ramesh and G Raman Nair were present at the meet.
However, V Muraleedharan, the Rajya Sabha member seen as a fierce critic of Pillai, did not attend the meeting though he was in the city. The leadership offered the explanation that a national executive member does not have to attend the state leadership meeting.
'Agitation still on'
BJP state general secretaries M T Ramesh and A N Radhakrishnan asserted that the party hasn't called off the Sabarimala agitation. Radhakrishnan, who is set to launch a hunger strike in front of the Secretariat on Monday, said: “The agitation has not been shifted from Sabarimala to the Secretariat. BJP workers will indeed be at Sabarimala to prevent violation of customs. We will also try to breach the prohibitory orders in Nilakkal.”
Ramesh said the party will stay on in the Sabarimala agitation even if the hunger strike is launched in the state capital. “The violation of prohibitory orders will also continue, with the Pathanamthitta district unit leading it,” he said.
CM, ministers to be blocked
The BJP state leadership meet has decided to block the chief minister and his ministers on the streets to protest against the actions against Surendran. Ramesh said the BJP has lodged a complaint with the national human rights panel over the police assault on Surendran.