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10 Reasons Why BJP Might Find it Hard to Replicate Tripura Win in Kerala

According to RSS, Kummanam, its topmost pracharak in the state, was given to lead the BJP on its request. However, there were no discussion with RSS when he was removed from the post on the eve of a crucial by-election in Chengannur Assembly seat.

Chandrakanth Viswanath | News18

Updated:July 4, 2018, 3:37 PM IST
10 Reasons Why BJP Might Find it Hard to Replicate Tripura Win in Kerala
Image for representation.
Thiruvananthapuram: “This will be the last Communist government in Kerala. The workers won’t take rest until BJP forms its government in Kerala, West Bengal, Odisha, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh,” said BJP chief Amit Shah on Tuesday while on a two-day visit to Kerala, the state where his party is headless for more than a month.

The discussions to select the successor to Kummanam Rajasekraan, who was appointed as the Governor of Mizoram, has created a lot of speculations about the changes in the top leadership too.

It can be termed as a perfect paradox when someone compares the performance of BJP in Kerala and Tripura, two Communist bastions.

While BJP could grab the power in Tripura in the last elections, from its vote share of a poor 1.5 per cent in 2013, it will be a challenge for it to capture popular imagination in the state even though it secured 16 per cent vote share in 2016.

Here are the 10 reasons why BJP might find the going tough in Kerala:

1. Big Brother

The BJP may be a non-entity in the state politics, however, the network of RSS, once with a record number of Sakhas in the country, is a force to reckon with in the state for the last four decades, especially after the Emergency. Even without the help of an electoral victory for a political wing in its family, RSS is sitting pretty with its strong mass base. Many of its leaders and cadres demand more from BJP, where a number of its own members are in leadership, in performance and respect. Hence even minute differences with each other's leaders result in detachment with the political wing. Moreover, the other parivar members, the number of the prominent among them may number around 16, are not happy with the attitude of many of the BJP leaders towards them. Most of them express their dislike in public too.

2. Operation Mizoram

Though the party-RSS tiff has been there for some time, the moving out of BJP president Kummanam Rajasekhran has aggravated it. According to RSS, Kummanam, its topmost pracharak in the state, was given to lead the BJP on its request. However, there were no discussion with RSS when he was removed from the post on the eve of a crucial by-election in Chengannur Assembly seat. A major section feels Kummanam was exiled.

3. War on hashtag

It needed a hashtag to open the can of worms on the group war on the Facebook page of Amit Shah. Comments started flowing against former state President V Muraleedharan MP as he posted #avalkkoppam (with her) on his FB page in solidarity with the four actors who resigned from AMMA, the organisation of cine artists. Nearly 5000 replies under his post showed the mind of the party followers. Most of them were peeved at the leader's attitude as he was silent in the cyber-attack by an actor against a young woman - a former functionary of Yuvamorcha. Soon, the arena shifted to Amit Shah's page with complaints against V Muraleedharan. The mood was almost a reflection of many of the recent top-level meetings of RSS which came down heavily upon the leaders who run ' parallel party system'' even after relinquishing their posts.

4. Restricted areas

Nearly 80 per cent of the state's Hindu population comes under two prominent organisations SNDP and NSS. The first represents Ezhavas(OBC) while second Nairs (Forward caste). Despite its best efforts, BJP could not get a decent entry into the organisational structure of these two. The alliance with BDJS a political outfit with the blessings of SNDP remains half-baked.

5. Communal equations

Though the attempts to enter the minority vote bank were active it did not yield any result. However, it benefited some of the community leaders.

6. Lack of focus

It looks like the party suffers from an identity problem when it comes to popular issues, almost a similar situation it faced during 2007 and 2014 in Uttar Pradesh. It failed to address the issues of its core voters, the Hindu community, as there was ambiguity in the opinion in some of them such as the entry of women to Sabarimala. This resulted in a schism among the supporters, especially women. In short, the party is yet to position itself.

7. Public Faces

The number of faces who could be presented as a model in public is less. Barring a very few, those who appear in the Television debates lack content and get trolled on a daily basis while others have no connection with the public. It is also alleged that the old timers cleverly prevent the vibrant youngsters in the social media from entering the organisational level.

8. Absence of friends

It failed to influence more people and win friends outside its terrain. According to the party insiders, the plum posts which were given to some of them like actor-turned-politician Sureshgopi as an MP and bureaucrat-turned-politician Alphonse Kannanthanam as a minister did not benefit the organisation as it was expected. Curiously, there are four of the party members from the state in RS. Two of them are nominated while one was elected from Maharashtra and other was elected from Rajasthan.

9. Combatant Media

A strong media, more vigilant on Sangh Parivar check it at every point and this increases the task of Shah.

10. The forts of the alliance

The bipolar politics of alliance led by CPM and Congress with many partners is in place for the last three decades makes further makes things tough for the BJP.

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| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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