Thiruvananthapuram : Kerala BJP president V Muralidharan has ruled out any alliance with Kerala Congress, a regional party patronised primarily by the Syrian Christian community in the state.
Suggestions in this regard were made in an article and an editorial in ‘Janmabhoomi’, the mouthpiece of the BJP in Kerala. While the article on the editorial page on Monday invited party leader and Finance Minister K M Mani to the Sangh Parivar fold the editorial the next day criticised the state leadership for ridiculing the invitation.
The article penned by K.Kunhikkannan, Resident Editor of the daily in Kochi, described Mani as the ‘Bheeshmacharya’ of Kerala politics and said “he will be received with both hands at the national level” if he stops gluing his sights to the left and right.
Taking a cue from newly installed party president Amit Shah’s call to party leaders in Kerala and Tamil Nadu to focus on efforts to convert the votes into seats, the editorial on Monday said that the BJP had failed to make electoral breakthrough in the southern Indian state because of lack of tactical approaches.
The editorial said that the party will not be able to win seats in the state without breaking the stranglehold of the ruling Congress-led United Democratic Front and the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led opposition Left Democratic Front over the vote banks. The editorial says this will be possible only if the leadership is ready to change the strategies.
Responding to suggestions in the ‘Janmabhoomi’, Muralidharan, who is heading the party for the second term, said that the party had paid dearly for a tactical line it experimented in 1991 and it could not afford to experiment another.
“We have not overcome the effect of the 1991 experiment. We are still being portrayed as party that sells votes following the alliance with the Congress and the Indian Union Muslim League in the 1991 Vatakara-Beypore Lok Sabha-Assembly elections. We cannot afford another misadventure,” Muralidharan told reporters at Calicut on Monday.
The BJP president said there was nothing that the party or the state can get from the 80-year-old Kerala Congress leader. He said there was no need for BJP to help him to make political gains; Muralidharan said hinting at Mani’s endeavour to make his son Jose K Mani a minister at the Centre.
Though Kerala Congress (M) general secretary Antony Raju rejected the BJP invitation Mani has been silent on the issue. However, Home Minister and former Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Ramesh Chennithala said that the BJP attempt to woo Mani was another dream of the party that will never be fulfilled.
Ramesh pointed out that the BJP was dreaming of opening it account in the state during every election but they have never come true. He said that the BJP had no relevance in the political front in Kerala.
The BJP invitation came amidst calls from the CPI (M) to Mani to quit the ruling front. Party politburo member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan persuaded him to come out of the UDF saying that he was the most qualified leader in Kerala now to become a chief minister. He said Mani will never be able to get his deserved position if he remained in the UDF.